Grief and questions after UK police kill Chris Kaba, a Black man | Black Lives Matter News

London, United Kingdom – The police killing of a Black man – 24-year-old father and aspiring rapper Chris Kaba – has rekindled the national conversation about racism in the British police force and stirred fear. in the black community in this country.

At around 10pm on September 5, Kaba was shot dead by police following a car chase in Streatham Hill, a south London borough.

He was crated and an officer shot through the windshield of the Audi he was driving, on the driver’s side. He was given first aid at the scene and taken to hospital, where he died.

London Metropolitan Police, after 2020 George Floyd’s death pledges to be an active anti-racism organization, said Kaba’s car was stopped after his registration number “was linked to a firearm offense in the previous days”. there”.

The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said no firearms were found in the car or the surrounding area and the vehicle was automatically flagged by the system as carrying a weapon not owned by Kaba. .

Kaba’s family said in a statement released to Inquest, a charity focused on state-related deaths: “We are devastated; We need answers and we need accountability. We worry that if Chris wasn’t Black, he would have been arrested Monday night and not have his life cut off.”

The family, who say they were not informed of Kaba’s death for 11 hours, have also requested the release of body-cam footage of the officers.

‘Institutional racism’

Black Lives Matter UK told Al Jazeera via email that the murder of Kaba, also known as Mad Itch from London drill group 67, has become even more shocking since the death of Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore, a 41-year-old man. . jumped off a bridge in London after being checked by police on June 4.

“With each death, our community must experience shared grief. Black people across the UK are wondering: Who’s next? And how can justice and accountability be achieved? “

According to official figures, Blacks are more likely to be stopped and searched by the police than any other ethnic group, while 16- to 24-year-olds are more likely to trust police services. lowest locality.

The national police force is 93% white, while Black officers make up 1.3%. Meanwhile, 86 percent of the population is white, while 3.3 percent is Black.

Black Lives Matter UK said: “We are twice as likely to die during or after coming into contact with the police. “We have decades of evidence that the police and the criminal justice system commit institutional racism.”

Tobi Oredein, founder of Black Ballad, an online magazine for black women, wrote in a news release: “This country has been largely silent about the death of Chris Kaba and that is not true. I know some would argue that Queen Elizabeth has passed away so that’s the main headline.

“It is both fascinating and terrifying (more horrifying) that this country has all the time it takes for a woman to live a full 96 years with the power and wealth that come from privilege, racism. and colonialism, but not interested in a 24-year-old whose life has been ripped from him by the very people who need the rule of law. Like I said, this country doesn’t care about black lives. “

Over the weekend, anti-racism protesters took to the streets of London demanding justice for Kaba and his family.

Stormzy, Britain’s most famous rapper, said at the rally: “When these people do these things, they just ignore it, because what happens is we do this once, we’re tired. we’re tired, we tweet, we’re tired, we do it in a week, we do it in two weeks, we do it in a month, and they know we’re tired.

“What they did was they killed someone. We cannot sugarcoat it,” he added, stressing the need for stamina as the investigation continues.

Stormyz at Chris Kaba's rally
Stormzy speaks during a protest for justice for Chris Kaba, 24 years old [File: Maja Smiejkowska/Reuters]

The IOPC has launched a murder investigation after reviewing the evidence.

Its investigation continues as a criminal investigation, but it has warned that “this does not mean criminal charges will necessarily follow”.

In a video statement, Met Police commander Alexis Boon offered his sincere condolences to Chris Kaba’s family.

“Communities are hurt, and there is trauma. I have officers on patrol there, engaging with the public, speaking to the community,” he said.

“I would like to reassure the community that the Met is fully cooperating with the IOPC as they conduct a thorough and independent investigation.”

There have been requests – joined by South London MPs Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Harriet Harman – for the Met officer who opened fire to be suspended. This past Monday, the Telegraph reported that the officer in question had been withdrawn from duty online.

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