Police watchdog launches homicide investigation into Met shooting of Chris Kaba

Metropolitan police firearms officers fatally shot 24-year-old in Streatham Hill, south London, on Monday

The police watchdog has launched a homicide investigation into the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba by armed Metropolitan police officers in south London.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said this followed its review of the evidence gathered so far after the incident in Streatham Hill on Monday night.

The 24-year-old was driving a car which was first rammed before being boxed in by police. He was killed by a single shot that entered through the driver’s side of the windscreen of the Audi.

The watchdog has previously confirmed that no gun was found in the vehicle. It has now emerged that the car, which was flagged as being linked to a firearms incident days earlier, was not owned by Kaba.

“Mr Kaba died after a single shot was fired by an MPS officer from the specialist firearms command while police attempted to stop and contain the vehicle he was driving,” the IOPC said.

“This followed the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera which indicated the vehicle was linked to a firearms incident in previous days. The vehicle Mr Kaba was driving was not registered to him.”

The watchdog said its investigation was continuing and added: “As this is now a criminal investigation, we are limited in what further information we can provide.

“The launch of a criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow.”

It said: “We have notified Mr Kaba’s family of this latest development. We continue to ask that people avoid speculating about this incident out of respect for Mr Kaba’s family and for everyone else affected.”

The family had already called for the officers to be placed under criminal investigation by the IOPC. In a statement on Wednesday, they said: “The family of Chris Kaba seek a homicide investigation into his death from the outset.

“We have today told the IOPC of that demand and that we do not want any delay as has happened in other fatal shootings – otherwise we and the wider public can have no confidence that the police will be held to account.

“We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability. We are worried that if Chris had not been Black, he would have been arrested on Monday evening and not had his life cut short.”

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said on Friday night: “My heartfelt sympathies remain with Chris Kaba’s family, friends and loved ones, who are having to come to terms with a young life cut short.

“I fully understand the grave concerns and impact of Chris’s death on Black Londoners across our city and the anger, pain and fear it has caused – as well as the desire for justice and change.

“I appreciate that there are many unanswered questions and I want to reassure all of London’s communities that I will continue to push for these to be answered.”

Met assistant commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “My thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s friends and family with this news. I also know how concerned our communities are and how they will also be affected by this significant update. We share their concern.

“The Met is co-operating fully as the IOPC work to independently establish the full circumstances surrounding the shooting.”

The force said the officer involved was not currently on operational duties due to the formal post-incident process, and a senior officer would carefully consider their work status.

Pearson added: “I absolutely understand that this shooting is a matter of grave concern, particularly for our black communities.

“I also know what a difficult and often dangerous job firearms officers in particular do every day to try to protect the public. They understand and expect that on the very rare occasions they discharge their weapons they will face intense scrutiny. I don’t underestimate the impact on them of this development.

“I’d urge the public to allow the IOPC the time and space needed to progress the investigation.”
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