Met Police suspend officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba

·3-min read
Photo credit: Guy Smallman - Getty Images
Photo credit: Guy Smallman - Getty Images

The officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba in South London on 5 September has been suspended, the Metropolitan Police has confirmed. It comes after Kaba's family and friends marched with protesters in London over the weekend – they were joined by rapper, Stormzy.

"Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty," said Met Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson. "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 IOPC announcing a homicide investigation."

Pearson continued: "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."

Since then, a source within the firearms command told The Telegraph that there is "real anger in the ranks about this."

"They are all volunteers and they are increasingly feeling 'what is the point of doing this if our bosses do not have our backs'," the source said. "This is a decision that has been taken to placate public anger pure and simple. Some of them have simply had enough and have said 'that’s it, we’re out'."

According to The Telegraph's source, the officers in question would continue their duty during the operations for the Queen’s funeral but then quit.

Who was Chris Kaba and what happened to him?

Chris Kaba was a 24-year-old rapper from South London and was due to become a father in the coming weeks. But on 5 September he was shot dead in South London's Streatham Hill following a car chase with police. Kaba was stopped by firearms officers when his car was flagged by a number plate recognition camera which linked it to a firearms offence days earlier.

Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images
Photo credit: SOPA Images - Getty Images

Of his death, the Met Police said a "suspect" vehicle was pulled over using "tactical contact" at 9:51pm in Kirkstall Gardens, South London. Photos from the scene showed a BMW with a single bullet hole through the windscreen, and the force revealed that a man in his twenties had received on-site medical support from officers before being taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The response to Chris Kaba's death

Kaba's tragic death prompted outcry from his family and friends, as well as his local community and the wider public. "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," a statement from Kaba's family – released through charity Inquest – read.

Following the family's requests, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it had opened a homicide inquiry in relation to Kaba's death.

Kaba's killing has once again reignited conversations around the treatment of Black men by the police force. Over the weekend, thousands of people took part in a march through London and protestors held signs reading "Black Lives Matter" and "Justice for Chris Kaba".

The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he welcomed the decision and his "thoughts remain with Chris Kaba's loved ones at this intensely difficult time".

Our thoughts are with Chris Kaba's loved ones at this difficult time.

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