Mother accuses Met of 'racism' after her unarmed son, 24, is shot dead

‘I need justice to be done’: Crying mother accuses Met Police of ‘racism’ after her unarmed rapper son, 24, was shot dead by officers after chase

  • Chris Kaba, 24, was shot dead by police on Monday after a car chase in London
  • His car triggered an alert indicating it was linked to a recent firearms incident
  • A detailed search was completed and no firearm was found in Mr Kaba’s vehicle

The tearful mother of an unarmed father-to-be shot dead by police has called for those responsible to face criminal charges, describing it as ‘racist’.

Chris Kaba, 24, who was due to become a father within months, died after a car chase that ended in Streatham Hill, south London, on Monday night.

Police watchdog the IOPC say the pursuit was sparked when the vehicle number plates triggered an alert that it had been used in a firearms incident.

Mr Kaba’s mother Helen sobbed as she said: ‘My heart is broken. I am speechless. My heart is broken.

‘Police have taken Chris from me, I don’t know how to say, but I need justice to be done for Chris. This is very racist, it’s no good.

‘I need justice to be done, criminal justice to be done.’   

Prosper Kaba, his father, added to BBC News: ‘No-one can give any justification on why the police act.

‘For us it’s totally racist and criminal.’ 

Mr Kaba’s family earlier questioned whether his life would have been ‘cut short’ if he were not black 

Mr Kaba’s parents Prosper and Elaine called for criminal charges over his death and justice

Rapper Mr Kaba’s Audi was hemmed in by two police cars in narrow residential street Kirkstall Gardens before one round was fired from a police weapon.

Police officers administered CPR immediately at the scene and Mr Kaba was taken to hospital where he died later in the night, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed.

The watchdog said it was understood that police had tried to stop him after the activation of an automatic numberplate recognition camera, indicating the car he was driving was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days.

However no firearms were found in his car or at the scene following a search on Tuesday night. 

In a statement on Wednesday, the IOPC said: ‘We understand at this stage that police officers in an armed response vehicle attempted to stop the vehicle Mr Kaba was in, following the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera which indicated the vehicle was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days.

‘As the investigation into that incident is ongoing by the MPS, it would not be appropriate to provide further information.’

It added: ‘A detailed search of the scene and surrounding area was completed last night. No non-police issue firearm has been recovered from the vehicle or the scene.’

Forensic examinations will be completed on Mr Kaba’s car and some of the police vehicles involved in the incident, the watchdog said.

Regional director Sal Naseem said the IOPC is committed to carrying out a ‘thorough and comprehensive’ investigation to establish all of the facts surrounding the shooting.

Chris Kaba, 24, who was due to become a father within months, died after a chase that ended in Streatham Hill, south London

Floral tributes have been left at the scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London 

‘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,’ he said.

‘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.

‘While these details are still being confirmed, we ask that the public avoid speculating about this incident out of respect for Mr Kaba’s family and for anyone else affected.’

Mr Kaba’s family earlier questioned whether his life would have been ‘cut short’ if he were not black — as they demanded a murder investigation into his death.

They said on Wednesday that they were ‘devastated’ and needed ‘answers and accountability’ over his death.

In a statement released through the charity Inquest, they said: ‘The family of Chris Kaba seek a homicide investigation into his death from the outset.

‘We have today told the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) of that demand and that we do not want any delay as has happened in other fatal shootings — otherwise we and the wider public can have no confidence that the police will be held to account.

‘We also want the IOPC to tell us whether or not a weapon was found in any search of the vehicle that Chris was driving. We have not received this information even though the shooting happened almost two days ago.

An overhead view of the scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, following the shooting on Monday night

A forensics officer works inside a large police cordon around the shooting in south London on Tuesday

The Met referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct following the shooting. Pictured: A forensic officer at the scene

A blue tent erected inside the police cordon in south London, where a man was shot dead by officers on Monday night

‘Finally, we are desperately appealing for any witnesses, whether before, during or after the pursuit and the shooting to come forward to the IOPC and/or to our solicitors at Hickman and Rose.

‘We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability. 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.’

The Metropolitan Police earlier expressed its condolences to Mr Kaba’s loved ones, saying the force understood that ‘the family and community want answers’.

In a statement issued earlier on Wednesday, Commander Alexis Boon said the incident was ‘extremely concerning’ and vowed the force would co-operate with the police watchdog in its aftermath.

The officer said: ‘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.

‘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 (IOPC) as they carry out a thorough and independent investigation.’

Forensics officers at the scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London

The Independent Office for Police conduct is carrying out an investigation into the fatal shooting

Forensics officers at the scene in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London

Forensic officers working overnight inside a police cordon following the shooting

The pastor at a church which Mr Kaba attended as a child said there were discussions in the community about organising a vigil for him.

Reverend Siaa-Liane Mathurin, of New Park Road Baptist Church, said: ‘Chris came to the church when he was little. He was from round here, he lived just over the road.

‘The community are scared. I’ve had young people come to me asking “why did they shoot him?”

‘There are families who didn’t send their kids to school today.

‘I’m speaking to community leaders about organising a demonstration or a vigil.’

Pastoress Lorraine Jones with Kimberly Alleyne, 49, who is the mother-in-law to be of Mr Kaba

Speaking at the scene on Tuesday, Kim Alleyne, 49, whose daughter Karimah Waite was engaged to Mr Kaba, said of him: ‘He was so loved. He was so funny. He was super kind. Crazy. He was always happy. He’d do anything for you.

‘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.’

Some paying tribute at the scene said Mr Kaba was a rapper known as Madix or Mad Itch 67.

Jefferson Bosela, 27, who was Mr Kaba’s cousin, said: ‘He 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.’

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