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Inquest opens into police shooting of Chris Kaba

On 4 October, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) opened an inquest into the death of Chris Kaba, who was shot by police on 5 September in Streatham Hill, London.

Chris Kaba, who was unarmed and not a suspect, was pursued in his car on 5 September.

The IOPC told the inquest that officers were briefed that this car was ‘believed to be linked to a firearms incident’, although Kaba was not mentioned as a suspect.

During the pursuit, officers did not turn on their lights and sirens, which is standard procedure, and seem not to have offered any warning.

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An officer, identified as ‘NX121’, fired the fatal shot through the windscreen.

 Kaba was taken to King’s College Hospital, where he died later that night. 

Officer NX121 has since been temporarily suspended.

So far, no charges have been filed.

At the opening of the inquest, Kaba’s cousin, Jefferson Besola asked “Who will be held accountable for his death?”.

He continued, “How can a young man, sitting in a car, unarmed, be shot in the head by police in London in 2022?”

The inquest is expected to last from 6 to 9 months.

Kaba’s family said they “do not accept” that the investigation is longer than a standard murder investigation “merely because the person who killed Chris is a police officer”. 

Besola said: “This should never have happened. It must never happen again.

“We must never accept this as normal. Someone must be held accountable.”

He continued with the family’s key requests to the inquest.

The family wants the officers involved to be interviewed under caution and for an urgent Crown Prosecution Service decision on the criminal charges being pressed.

Besola added his family’s frustrations with the IOPCs communications, asking to be kept updated on the investigation. 

He continued, “[Chris] had a bright future ahead of him – his first child was about to be born. That his life was cut short by a police officer is a tragedy”. 

The resounding question from Kaba’s family is that of accountability and justice. 

Besola finished, “We will not rest until the people responsible for Chris’s death are held fully accountable”.

Image “Southwark Coroner’s Court” by sarflondondunc is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.