It has been established that a Black man, who was shot and killed by police in London following a car chase, was unarmed. His family has since called on authorities to initiate a murder investigation into his shooting death, Sky News reported.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said armed police officers had tried to pull over Chris Kaba on Monday night because his car was connected to a “firearms incident” the days prior. But in the aftermath of the fatal encounter, the country’s police watchdog said no firearm was found in the vehicle or the scene of the incident.
A shot was discharged from a police firearm after two police vehicles blocked the 24-year-old Black man’s car on a tight residential street in Streatham Hill, south London. Kaba, who was an expectant father, later succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
The deceased man’s family in a statement said that they want a “homicide investigation into his death from the outset.” The statement also said that the IOPC has been notified of the family’s request, and they “do not want any delay as has happened in other fatal shootings.”
“We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability,” Kaba’s family said on Wednesday. “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.”
Responding to the fatal incident, the regional director of the IOPC, Sal Naseem, said: “We recognise that there is community concern following this incident and we appreciate that questions will remain around how Mr. Kaba tragically ended up being fatally shot following an attempted vehicle stop.
“We are working hard to piece together all of the circumstances surrounding this incident and we want to reassure the community that these questions will be answered in due course, however it will take some time before our investigation is able to uncover all of the facts.”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he had gotten in touch with the IOPC in the wake of the incident, Sky News reported. “When anyone loses their life as a result of police force, it’s important it is properly & thoroughly investigated,” he said.
Metropolitan Police Commander Alexis Boon said that the force would fully cooperate with the IOPC during the course of the investigation into the fatal incident.
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who died and I recognise the devastating and lasting impact this tragic incident will have on them,” Boon said.
“I understand that this incident is extremely concerning and I would like to reassure the community that the Met is co-operating fully with the Independent Office for Police Conduct as they carry out a thorough and independent investigation.”
In an interview with reporters on Tuesday, Kim Alleyne, who is the mother of Kaba’s fiancée, shared fond memories of the deceased Black man. “He was so loved. He was so funny. He was super kind. Crazy. He was always happy. He’d do anything for you,” Alleyne said.
“He was a fiance, he was due to get married in five months’ time. He’s got a baby on the way that he’s never going to see.
“It’s horrible and so shocking and so sad.”
Kaba’s cousin also said the 24-year-old man was “a good person, a good, happy guy. He didn’t deserve that. No-one deserves that.”
“Nobody deserves to be shot by the police, whether they are a good person or a bad person,” he added.