Family response to inquiry six months after police shooting

Chris Kaba: Family request answered six months after police shooting (Family Handout)

The heartbroken mother of Chris Kaba has demanded answers from a police watchdog six months after an armed Metropolitan Police officer shot dead her unarmed son.

Mr Kaba, 24, was shot once in the head and suffered catastrophic injuries after his car was locked up by officers chasing Streatham Hill.

Known only by the codename NX121, the Metropolitan Police officer was suspended and questioned under caution after the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) launched a murder investigation.

The unarmed rapper’s distraught family watched body-worn footage taken by officers in two police cars chasing and skirting his Audi Q8 late at night on September 5 last year.

Lawyers representing the family on Friday called for an “urgent decision” on whether the officers involved will be charged with murder, manslaughter or other charges.

They also claim that six months after the murder was “not sufficiently frequent or meaningful” for the family, despite promises made by the IOPC update.

Helen Lumuanganu, Chris Kaba’s mother, said: “We have already waited six months for the decision. We don’t want to wait another six months. This is for us a painful reminder of something that will never change.

“Enough is enough.”

Chris Kaba's parents called the Met's shooting last year unjustified and racist (BBC)

Chris Kaba’s parents called the Met’s shooting last year unjustified and racist (BBC)

In a joint statement, Chris Kaba’s family called on the IOPC to take immediate action to advance criminal charges deliberation and on prosecutors to act “without further delay.”

They added: “Over the last six months, our main questions as a family have been: Why did this happen and who will be held accountable?

“We were told we would have to wait six to nine months before these questions could be answered. It was too long for a grieving family. We are still waiting.

“The police watchdog has had ample time to gather evidence and take steps to seek CPS advice on criminal charges against those involved in Chris’ death. Nevertheless we are still waiting.

“We must never accept a young unarmed black man being shot dead by police on the streets of London, as is normal. That should never have happened. It must never happen again.

“Chris was so loved by our family and all his friends. He had a bright future ahead of him before his life ended. With the community of supporters standing by our side, our family can’t wait any longer.”

A forensic scientist at the crime scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London (PA)

A forensic scientist at the crime scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London (PA)

INQUEST — a charity that provides expertise on state-related deaths — claimed that families of black people who died after being contacted by police have failed to be held accountable for racism by a system that is not “fit for purpose”. .

Lucy McKay, a spokeswoman for INQUEST, said: “There has rightly been significant public concern about the circumstances of Chris Kaba’s death. This is true both specifically in relation to his death and as part of the broader unacceptable pattern of disproportionate use of deadly force by police against black men.”

Hickman & Rose’s Daniel Machover, who is representing the family, said: “If a member of the public is killed on the day of death by another member of the public known to the police, it would rightly be viewed as outrageous to those left behind have to wait more than five months for the criminal investigation to be completed.

“The IOPC is failing this family and the general public by not promptly completing its criminal investigation.”

The independent Bureau of Police Conduct said its investigation into Mr Kaba’s death will be “complex” and take six to nine months as a “significant amount of evidence” is being examined.

It was also announced that the shooting took place as police were attempting to stop and curb the Audi that Mr Kaba was driving and that the pursuit was prompted after the vehicle, which was not registered to Mr Kaba, was targeted by automatic number plate technology has been linked to a firearms incident in the past few days.

Few other details have been officially released, though the prospect of criminal charges against the officer who fired the fatal shot will likely depend on prosecutors deciding they acted in self-defense in response to a realistic threat to their person have life or that of another officer.

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