A specialist firearms officer who fired the shot that last week killed a rapper in Streatham, south London, has been suspended from duty.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the Audi had activated an automatic number plate recognition camera on Sept. 5, which indicated it had been linked to a firearms offence a few days before.
Kaba’s family have demanded to see video footage of his final moments.
Kaba—who used the stage name Mad Itch and was part of the rap group 67—was found to be unarmed and there was no gun at the scene, unlike the shooting of two other black men—Jermaine Baker in 2015 or Mark Duggan in 2011. The latter sparked widespread rioting across London.
It is not unusual for a firearms officer to be suspended after a person is killed.
The officer—identified only as W80—who shot Baker was also suspended, but in July 2022 Judge Clement Goldstone QC ruled that he had acted “lawfully.”
But V53, the officer who shot Duggan, was not suspended. A jury at an inquest in 2014 ruled he had also acted lawfully.
‘Significant Impact on Public Confidence’
In a statement issued on Tuesday, Met Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty. This decision has been reached following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence, and in light of the Independent Office for Police Conduct announcing a homicide investigation.”
She added: “Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s family and friends. We understand how concerned communities are, particularly black communities, and thank those who are working closely with our local officers.”
Pearson’s comments are telling, considering the remarks of Sir Mark Rowley, who began his first day as commissioner of the Metropolitan Police on Monday.
Rowley said his two top priorities are ensuring the Queen’s funeral passes off without incident, and rebuilding “trust and confidence in our police service” after a string of scandals and controversies.
Kaba’s cousin, Jefferson Bosela, demanded to see body camera and aerial footage of the incident.
Bosela said, “We want the footage to be shown to the family to have a clear understanding of what happened.”
He also urged the IOPC’s investigation to be “swift” as well as “effective” and said: “We won’t be waiting years for this. We want justice as soon as we can.”
PA Media contributed to this report.