Investigators will consider whether race was a factor in the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, it has been revealed.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will “investigate all the circumstances” surrounding the unarmed rapper’s death, including whether “race influenced any actions taken by police”.
Kaba, 24, was shot dead by police on September 5 after a police pursuit of his car ended in Streatham Hill, south London.
His Audi was cornered by two police cars in a narrow residential street before a round was fired from a police weapon.
The Metropolitan Police officer involved has been suspended.
The IOPC will investigate whether the police officers knew Kaba before the incident and how they became aware of the vehicle he had been driving.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “We fully appreciate that Chris Kaba’s devastated family and community have many 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 private and confidential access to video footage as soon as practicable.
“A substantial amount of evidence”
“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.
“There are a number of inquiries to be carried out over the coming weeks and months, including expert analysis, and it is important that we allow our investigation to take its course as we try to establish all the facts.”
However, Kaba’s relatives are upset that the investigation could take up to nine months, saying this is “unacceptably long” and “lacks urgency”.
Daniel Machover, head of civil litigation at Hickman & Rose, who is acting on behalf of the family, said: “It suggests insufficient resources to do the job.
“In the meantime, the IOPC continues to withhold basic information from the family.”
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Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “We continue to fully support the IOPC investigation as they work to establish the facts and try to answer the many questions that Mr Kaba’s family and others have surrounding his tragic death.
“We’ve spent this week talking to communities across London, including our independent advisory groups – we know how important it is that we listen to their views and concerns and explain as much as we can what’s going on. We want more of these welcome. important conversations.”
“Obvious pain and frustration”
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) said: “It has been a legitimate and powerful show of community strength and unity.
“While it’s heartening to see, it again comes through with clear pain and frustration.
“This incident comes at a critical time when the MPS remains in special action over a number of high-profile and horrific incidents and is a signatory to the Race Action Plan, which commits to fair treatment and anti-racism in policing.
“Therefore, it is very important that these commitments manifest themselves in sensitive and meaningful engagement in the community, timely information and responsive support to the Kaba family.
“The Met BPA continues to be vocal as a critical friend to the Metropolitan Police and in support of London’s communities.”
An inquest into Kaba’s death will be opened on October 4.