Met police suspend officer involved in fatal shooting of Chris Kaba

Suspension comes a week after death of unarmed 24-year-old in south London

The Metropolitan police officer who fired the shot that killed 24-year-old Chris Kaba has been suspended from frontline duties, the Metropolitan police have confirmed in a statement.

The unarmed man was shot dead by police in Streatham Hill, south London, last Monday night. Kaba was driving a vehicle that was stopped after the activation of an automatic number-plate recognition camera, which indicated that the car had been linked to a firearms offence in the previous days.

A chase ensued and he was killed by a single shot fired through the driver’s side of the car’s windscreen.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has since launched a homicide investigation into Kaba’s death.

The suspension came after two London MPs joined calls from campaigners and Kaba’s family for the officer to be disciplined.

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the MP for Streatham, and Harriet Harman, the MP for Camberwell and Peckham, signed a letter saying it was “incomprehensible” that the officer had not been disciplined.

Hundreds marched on parliament on Saturday demanding justice for Kaba, who was a drill rapper from south London.

Deborah Coles, executive director at the charity Inquest, which has been working alongside Kaba’s family and legal team, called on the new Met commissioner to act quickly, saying: “One of Mark Rowley’s first priorities should be to ensure that the officer who shot Chris Kaba has no contact with the public until the criminal investigation into his or her behaviour has concluded.”

She added: “The new commissioner should be in no doubt about the strength of feeling about this shooting. This is not an isolated case, but one of a shamefully long pattern of deaths of black men who have died following the use of lethal force. There is an endemic culture of delay, denial and defensiveness after state-related deaths.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, welcomed Monday’s decision. “My thoughts remain with Chris Kaba’s loved ones at this intensely difficult time as the IOPC continue their independent homicide investigation,” he said.

The Met police assistant commissioner, Amanda Pearson, said on Monday: “Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty.

“This decision has been reached following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence, and in light of the Independent Office for Police Conduct announcing a homicide investigation.

“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s family and friends. We understand how concerned communities are, particularly black communities, and thank those who are working closely with our local officers.”

The Met police have asked that anyone with information that could be useful in establishing what happened to contact the IOPC directly, in order to maintain the independence of their investigation.

They emphasised that “the decision to suspend the officer does not determine the outcome of the IOPC investigation. Firearms officers serve to protect the public and know that on the rare occasions when they discharge their weapons, they will face intense scrutiny. I know this development will have a significant impact on the officer and colleagues.”
Tags: UK
×