Chris Kaba: Family of unarmed man shot dead by police accuse investigators of ‘lack of urgency’

Mother of 24-year-old ‘inconsolable’ after learning of his death 11 hours after shooting

Chiara Giordano
Wednesday 14 September 2022 09:09 BST
Met Police officer who shot Chris Kaba suspended from duty

The family of a man shot dead by police have accused the force watchdog of being too slow to act.

Chris Kaba, who was unarmed, died following a car chase involving armed officers that saw the Audi he was driving hemmed in by two police cars in a narrow residential street in Streatham Hill, south London last Monday.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the 24-year-old rapper, who was just months away from becoming a father, died after a single shot was fired by a Metropolitan Police officer from the specialist firearms command while police attempted to stop and contain the vehicle.

Chris Kaba had been just months away from becoming a father and husband when he died

The watchdog launched a homicide investigation into the shooting on Friday and on Monday announced the police officer who fired the fatal shot had been suspended a week after the incident.

Mr Kaba’s cousin, Jefferson Bosela, said the family welcomed the Met’s decision to suspend the officer – but accused the IOPC of showing no urgency to act.

The 27-year-old, who is acting as a spokesperson for the family, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “To be honest I think the second a criminal investigation was opened, he should have been suspended from there. It seems like the IOPC are moving a bit too slow.

“At first we wanted a criminal investigation opened and that took three to four days. And then the officer being suspended took another two days so it seems that there’s no urgency in their dealings with this quite tragic matter.”

The IOPC said officers had pursued Mr Kaba after an automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) camera indicated the vehicle he was driving was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days.

Jefferson Bosela, Mr Kaba’s cousin, has accused the IOPC of being ‘too slow’ to act

The watchdog confirmed no gun was found in the vehicle, which was not owned by Mr Kaba.

Mr Kaba’s family have now put in a request with the IOPC to view the bodycam and helicopter footage captured during the incident, Mr Bosela revealed.

He said: “The question we are asking now is – were they following the car, or were they following Chris?

“What they are saying is the car was flagged on the ANPR system but now we know the car was not registered in Chris’ name so that means it could have been anyone in that car.”

Mr Kaba’s mother, Helen, is said to be “inconsolable” over his death, while his father collapsed when he visited the scene of the shooting last week.

No gun was found in the Audi driven by Mr Kaba, which he did not own

Mr Bosela, who said the family were not informed of Mr Kaba’s death for 11 hours, told Today: “His mum would’ve woken up and gone to work not knowing her son weren’t alive anymore.

“She is just absolutely gutted, she is just devastated. She just don’t know why this happened.

“She is questioning God she’s asking God ‘What did I do so wrong for this to befall me’. She is just in pain she is inconsolable.”

A spokesperson for the IOPC confirmed the watchdog had spoken to legal representatives of Mr Kaba’s family on Tuesday.

They said: “We’ve spoken to Chris Kaba’s family’s legal representatives today and have provided them with answers to a number of questions, including how we can facilitate their viewing of video footage.

“We are keeping in regular contact with his family and will update them as our investigation progresses.”

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