IOPC probe into shooting of Chris Kaba considers if race a factor

Police watchdog investigating the Met over the fatal shooting of father-to-be Chris Kaba will probe ‘if race influenced any of their actions’

  • Chris Kaba was shot dead by an armed Met Police officer during a traffic stop 
  • Mr Kaba, 24, died at the scene in Streatham Hill, south London on September 5
  • The IOPC are investigating the incident which may take between 6 and 9 months
  • The police officer who fired his weapon has been suspended from duty  

Investigators will consider whether race was a factor in the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba by an armed officer, the police watchdog has said.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it would ‘explore all of the circumstances’ surrounding the death of the unarmed 24-year-old rapper, including whether ‘race influenced any actions taken by the police’.

Investigators will look into whether the police officers involved knew Mr Kaba before the incident, and how they came to be aware of the vehicle he had been driving, the watchdog said.

Chris Kaba, 24, pictured, was shot dead by a Metropolitan Police officer during a traffic stop in Streatham Hill, south London on September 5

Police boxed in the car Mr Kaba was driving, pictured centre, before he was shot dead

IOPC Regional Director Sal Naseem said the watchdog has been in contact with Mr Kaba’s family regarding the investigation, which is expected to take between six and nine months.

He said: ‘We fully appreciate that Chris Kaba’s devastated family and the community have a lot of unanswered questions about his death.

‘We have been in further contact with Chris’s family this week to answer a number of questions they have and to offer them privately and confidentially the opportunity to view video footage as soon as it is practicable.

‘We have also advised Chris’s family that we aim to complete our investigation within six to nine months.

‘We understand that people want answers quickly, but this is a complex investigation involving a significant amount of evidence.

The Independent Office of Police Complaint has launched a homicide investigation into Mr Kaba’s death and are trying to determine whether race played any part of the Met’s actions on September 5

‘There are a number of inquiries to carry out over the coming weeks and months, including expert analysis, and it is important that we allow our investigation to run its course as we seek to establish all of the facts.’

Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said the Metropolitan Police ‘fully supports’ the IOPC investigation.

She said: ‘We continue to fully support the IOPC investigation as they work to establish the facts and try to answer the many questions Mr Kaba’s family and others have around his tragic death.

‘We’ve been spending this week speaking with local communities across London, including our Independent Advisory Groups – we know how important it is we listen to their views and concerns and explain as far as we can what is happening. We welcome more of these important conversations.’

The Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) offered condolences to Mr Kaba’s family and said it supported the responses of the IOPC and the Met to the incident so far.

Speaking about the public response to the incident, a spokesperson for the group added: ‘There has been a legitimate and powerful show of community strength and unity.

‘While heartening to see, it comes yet again through evident pain and frustration.

‘This incident comes at a critical time when the MPS remains in special measures over a string of high profile and appalling incidents and are signed up to the Race Action Plan, which commits to fair treatment and anti-racism in policing.

‘Therefore, it is vitally important these commitments manifest themselves in sensitive and meaningful engagement in the community, timely information and responsive support to the Kaba family.

‘The Met BPA continue to be vocal as a critical friend to the Metropolitan Police and in support of London’s community.’

Mr Kaba, who was about to become a father, was killed on September 5 following a police pursuit of his car which ended in Streatham Hill, south London.

His Audi was hemmed in by two police vehicles in Kirkstall Gardens, a narrow residential street, and one round was fired from a police weapon.

The Metropolitan Police officer involved has been suspended by the force.

An inquest into Mr Kaba’s death will be opened on October 4.

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