Met Police officer who shot and killed Chris Kaba suspended

The Metropolitan Police officer who shot and killed Chris Kaba, a young, unarmed Black man, has been suspended.

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Thousands of protesters demanded justice for Chris Kaba on Saturday in central London. (SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty/ Thomas Krych)

 

 

Kaba was driving when he was rammed and blocked in by police cars in London’s Streatham Hill on 5 September, with the force saying he was stopped because his car was flagged by a numberplate recognition system.

The 24-year-old, from Wembley – and who was about to become a father – was killed by a firearms officer who shot once through the driver’s side of the windscreen. Kaba was unarmed.

On Friday (9 September), the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it had launched a homicide investigation into Kaba’s death, and on Monday (12 September) said action had been taken against the officer.

Met Police assistant commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “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 IOPC 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.

Pearson said that the Met Police is “actively supporting” the IOPC investigation into the action of its officers, and asked that anyone with information contact the IOPC directly, “to maintain the independence of their investigation.”

“The decision to suspend the officer does not determine the outcome of the IOPC investigation,” she added.

“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.”

Kaba’s death is the latest in a string of damning incidents involving the Met Police in recent years, including revelations earlier this year about extensive homophobia, racism and misogyny within the force, and the murder of Sarah Everard by Met Police officer Wayne Couzens in 2021.

 

The unarmed Chris Kaba was shot and killed by a Met Police officer in Streathamm, London. (Getty/ Guy Smallman)

 

On Saturday (10 September), thousands of protesters marched from Parliament Square to Scotland Yard demanding justice for Kaba and holding placards reading “abolish the Met” and “no justice, no peace”, while on Monday, a smaller vigil was held by his local community.

 

 

At Saturday’s march, Kaba’s distraught mother was at the front of the crowd outside Scotland Yard, as Labour MP Diane Abbott told protesters: “I don’t know how I would feel if it was my own son killed in cold blood. [Kaba] is not the only black man gunned down by the Metropolitan police.”

 

 

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