UPDATE: (Sept. 20, 2023): The Met Police officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba on September 5, 2022, will face a murder charge, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.
24-year-old Chris Kaba died after he was hit with a single gunshot from a police firearms officer in Streatham, South London, last year. The car he was driving was followed by an unmarked care with no lights and sirens.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) opened an investigation into Kaba’s case, which is said to have lasted nearly seven months, before handing over evidence files to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in March.
“Following a thorough review of the evidence provided by the IOPC, the CPS has authorised a charge of murder against a Metropolitan Police officer following the death of Chris Kaba,” said Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division. “The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the officer are active and that he has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”
Kaba’s family has said they “welcomed” the decision, adding that “Chris was so very loved by our family and all his friends. He had a bright future ahead of him, but his life was cut short. Our family and our wider community must see justice for Chris.”
The Met Police officer, who is yet to be named, will appear before Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.
UPDATE (Sept. 8, 2022): The family of Chris Kaba have demanded “answers” after the police watchdog, IOPC, confirmed that no firearm was found inside the 24-year-old’s car.
Kaba died following the result of a car pursuit which concluded in Streatham Hill, on Monday (Sept.5) night. Two police cars hounded Kaba’s Audi down a narrow residential street in Kirkstall Gardens before a single round of ammunition was fired from a police weapon.
According to the IOPC, officers attempted to stop Kaba when his vehicle prompted a response from an automatic number plate recognition camera, suggesting that he had been driving a car linked to a firearms offense just days before.
“We understand at this stage that police officers in an armed response vehicle attempted to stop the vehicle Mr Kaba was in, following the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera which indicated the vehicle was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days,” the IOPC said in a statement. “A detailed search of the scene and surrounding areas was completed last night. No non-police issue firearm has been recovered from the vehicle or the scene.”
It added: “As the investigation into the incident is still ongoing by the MPS, it would not be appropriate to provide further information.
Questions around whether his life would have been “cut short” if he were not black have flooded social media since Monday. Kaba’s family are said to be “devastated” and in need of “answers and accountability” over his death. Speaking through tears to the BBC, his mother, Helen Nkama, said: “My heart is broken. I am speechless. My heart is broken. Police have taken Chris from me… I don’t know how to say, but I need justice to be done for Chris. This is very racist—it’s no good. I need justice to be done, criminal justice to be done.”
His father, Prosper, added: “No one can give any justification on why the police act. For us, it’s totally racist and criminal. Really, we are shocked to see that in this century—from a specialist of the law like police, can shortcut someone’s life, especially a young boy.”
UPDATE (Sept. 6, 5.30pm, 2022): The man who was shot and killed by police has been named as Chris Kaba (pictured).
Kaba was a rapper—known to UK drill fans as Madix, a member of the hit-making crew 67—and was expecting his first child.
“This is crazy,” one of his friends at the scene told MyLondon. “I saw [Chris] just on Sunday when we watched the Manchester United game together. Now he’s not here. I know him from football. This is mad.”
Another friend, who wished to remain anonymous, said while crying: “There’s a bullet hole in the windscreen. He wasn’t given a chance. Police had blocked him in—where could he have gone? That’s what a Taser is for.”
Original story below.
A man in his 20s has been shot dead by police following a car chase in South London.
The “suspect” vehicle was stopped following “tactical contact” on Monday (Sept. 5) in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, according to a statement released by Lambeth Police. A police firearm was discharged and a male occupant of the vehicle sustained a gunshot injury, the report added.
The unnamed man received first aid from officers at the scene and was taken to hospital where he died shortly after midnight, per the BBC. While circumstances of the pursuit are not yet clear, cordons and road closures remain in place while police carry out their investigation.
Local residents reported hearing loud gunshots and a police helicopter hovering overhead. “I was in bed and heard what sounded like two gunshots in quick succession, then saw flashing lights through the curtains,” said Rachel Cook, who lives nearby. “It’s a very quiet residential street and people are very shook up about it.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct said in a statement: “The IOPC has commenced an independent inquiry into an incident involving armed officers from the Metropolitan Police in Lambeth, South London, last night. At this early point, it is thought that a man was fatally shot during the police reaction to complaints of a suspicious car.
“We were told by the MPS of the occurrence just after 11pm, and shortly before midnight we initiated an independent investigation. IOPC investigators were dispatched to the incident scene and post-incident procedures to collect evidence. Our thoughts and condolences are with everyone affected by this tragic event. Our inquiry is still in its earliest phases.”
This story will be updated as more information comes in.