Chris Kaba: IOPC launches homicide investigation into fatal shooting by Met Police officer

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Rapper and musician Stormzy addressed a crowd gathered outside Scotland Yard on Saturday, as a protest was held over the shooting of unarmed 24-year-old Chris Kaba.

Kaba was killed in Lambeth on Monday, when a firearms officer from the Metropolitan Police fired a single shot at him during an attempt to contain the vehicle he was driving.

A day before the march, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it had now launched a homicide investigation into Kaba’s death following a review of current evidence.

“Our investigation team is continuing to gather and review a large amount of evidence, however as this is now a criminal investigation, we are limited in what further information we can provide.

“The launch of a criminal investigation does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow,” it said.

The IOPC also said Kaba’s vehicle was not registered to him, and that an automatic number plate recognition camera had indicated it was linked to a recent firearms incident.

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In their own statement, also issued on Friday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed the firearms officer in question had been removed from operational duties and that the force was “co-operating fully” with the watchdog’s investigation.

Speaking outside New Scotland Yard, Stormzy – real name Michael Omari – said he was “very hesitant” to speak because the media “use my name to try and make it about me” when it’s “nothing about me”.

“It’s about us, it’s about the family, it’s about everyone grieving. Chris has a mother, he has a family, he has brothers, he has friends, people who knew him their whole life - for them this is unbearable,” he said.

He continued: “Someone said something before I got up here. I just want to reiterate the fact that everyone here today, I just encourage everyone to have stamina.

“I know it’s a very difficult thing to say, and it’s not really nice, because no one should have the stamina to go on a journey like this, the stamina to get justice, or the stamina to get answers but, when these people do these things, they get away with it.

“What happens is, we do this once and we get tired. We tweet and we get tired. We do it for a week, we do it for two weeks, we do it for a month, and they know we get tired.”

The 'Vossi Bop' rapper went on to urge attendees to “do whatever you can do to help” and “have the stamina to keep going”.

“Because what they have done is they’ve killed someone. You can’t sugar-coat that. They’ve killed someone... I just encourage everyone, everyone who’s here today, just have the stamina to keep going, because the family needs you,” he told them, adding that it could have been their “brother”, “uncle”, “nephew” or “someone close to you” who could have been affected.

In a statement issued on behalf of Kaba’s family, Daniel Machover from solicitors Hickman & Rose said: “On being notified of the death of Chris Kaba, the IOPC should have immediately opened a homicide and disciplinary investigation. The family was shocked to learn on Wednesday, 7 September, that the IOPC had still not done so, and demanded a change of heart without delay.

“The family, therefore, welcome the IOPC’s decisions on Friday, 9 September, to open homicide and disciplinary investigations against that firearms officer, however belatedly.

“The family now await the outcome of that investigation, but seek a charging decision in this case in weeks or a few months, not years.

“Public confidence in the police and our justice system requires the IOPC and CPS to find a way to make decisions in this case on a timescale that delivers justice to all concerned. Avoidable delay is unacceptable.”

They also demanded the Met Commissioner “immediately suspend” the firearms officer in question, pending the outcome of the IOPC’s investigation.

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