Met Police Shoot Chris Kaba, An Unarmed Black Man. Family Cries For Justice

A criminal investigation is under way after the police watchdog said it would investigate the shooting of an unarmed black man as a homicide.

Chris Kaba, 24, died after a police pursuit of a car ended in Streatham Hill, south London, on Monday night.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the development “does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow”.

Mr Kaba’s family has welcomed the decision.

They called on the IOPC “to use all of its powers to make this an effective criminal investigation so the police are held to account”.

“The Kaba family would like to give a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has supported the family in its call for this criminal investigation,” they added.

The family had been calling for “a homicide investigation into the death from the outset” having previously accused the Met Police of being “totally racist”.

The Met Police says it is fully co-operating with the IOPC and that its “thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s friends and family”.

Mr Kaba died after a single gunshot was fired at about 22:00 BST by a specialist firearms officer, who is no longer on operational duties, Scotland Yard says.

The IOPC said that although the officer is under criminal investigation and his conduct is also being investigated “it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will end up facing criminal charges or a misconduct hearing”.

An Automatic Number Plate Recognition camera indicated the vehicle driven by Mr Kaba, which was not registered to him, was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days, the IOPC said.

The Audi was hemmed in by two police cars in the narrow residential street of Kirkstall Gardens.

The IOPC said CPR was immediately given by officers and support requested from the ambulance service, but Mr Kaba later died in hospital.

Mr Kaba, who was due to become a father, was a rapper known as Madix or Mad Itch and was part of the MOBO-nominated drill group 67.

His mother, Helen Nkama, speaking through tears, told the BBC on Wednesday: “My heart is broken. I am speechless.”

In a statement before Friday’s announcement, the family added: “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 Met’s Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said she “absolutely understands that this shooting is a matter of grave concern, particularly for our black communities”.

She said: “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.”

London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, said he would “continue to push” for unanswered questions to be answered.

A post-mortem examination, which will determine a provisional cause of death, is due to take place.

The family of Chris Kaba who died after being shot by an officer from The Metropolitan Police on Monday night are calling for peace today as they call for justice.