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Police watchdog launches homicide investigation into Met shooting of Chris Kaba | UK news

The police watchdog has launched a murder investigation into the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba by armed Metropolitan police officers in South London.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said this followed its review of evidence gathered so far following the Streatham Hill incident on Monday night.

The 24-year-old was driving a car that was first rammed before being trapped by police. He was killed by a single shot coming in through the driver’s side of the Audi’s windshield.

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The watchdog has previously confirmed that no weapon was found in the vehicle. It has now been revealed that the car, which had been flagged as linked to a firearms incident days earlier, was not owned by Kaba.

“Mr. Kaba died after a single shot was fired by an MPS officer of the Specialized Firearms Command while police attempted to stop and restrain the vehicle he was driving,” the IOPC said.

“This followed the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera that indicated the vehicle had been associated with a firearms incident in the preceding days. The vehicle Mr Kaba was driving was not in his name.”

The watchdog said the investigation was continuing, adding: “As this is now a criminal investigation, we are limited in the further information we can provide.

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“Initiating a criminal investigation does not necessarily mean criminal charges will follow.”

It said: “We have notified Mr Kaba’s family of this latest development. We continue to ask people not to speculate about this incident out of respect for Mr Kaba’s family and everyone else involved.”

The family had already called for the officers to be criminally investigated by the IOPC. In a statement on Wednesday, they said: “Chris Kaba’s family has been seeking a murder investigation into his death from the start.

“We informed the IOPC today of that demand and that we do not want any delay, as has happened with other deadly shootings – otherwise we and the general public cannot trust that the police will be held accountable.

We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability. We’re afraid that if Chris hadn’t been black, he would have been arrested Monday night and his life wouldn’t have been cut short.”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said Friday evening: “My sincere condolences go out to Chris Kaba’s family, friends and loved ones as they learn to live with a young life cut short.

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“I fully understand the grave concern and impact of Chris’s death on black Londoners in our city and the anger, pain and fear it has caused – as well as the desire for justice and change.

“I appreciate that there are many unanswered questions and I want to reassure all London communities that I will continue to push for answers.”

With Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “My thoughts and condolences remain with Mr Kaba’s friends and family on this news. I also know how concerned our communities are and how they too will be affected by this important update. We share their concern.

“The Met is fully cooperating as the IOPC works to independently determine the full circumstances surrounding the shooting.”

The Corps said the officer involved is currently not on operational duties due to the formal process following the incident, and a senior officer would carefully consider their employment status.

Pearson added: “I absolutely understand that this shooting is a matter of great concern, especially for our black communities.

“I also know what a difficult and often dangerous job firearms officers in particular do every day to protect the public. They understand and expect that on the very rare occasions when they unload their weapons, they will be closely monitored. I do not underestimate the impact of this development on them.

“I would urge the public to give the IOPC the time and space it needs to continue the investigation.”

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