Chris Kaba's family say they weren't told he was dead for 11 hours

Chris Kaba’s family say they weren’t told he had been killed for 11 hours as they demand to see video of his final moments after Met Police suspended firearms officer who shot 24-year-old father-to-be dead

  • Mr Kaba, 24, was killed following a police pursuit which ended in South London
  • One round was fired by the now suspended officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba
  • Cousin Jefferson Bosela said family were not told of death until 11 hours later 
  • The Audi that Mr Kaba was driving was flagged up on the police ANPR system

Chris Kaba’s family have said that they were not told he had been killed for 11 hours and demanded to see video of his final moments after the Met Police suspended the firearms officer who shot the 24-year-old father-to-be dead.

His cousin Jefferson Bosela, speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, said: ‘The family found out 11 hours [after he died], so his mum would have woken up and have gone to work not knowing that her son wasn’t alive any more.’

Mr Kaba was killed after a vehicle stop on September 5 in Streatham Hill, south London.

The Audi he was driving was hemmed in by two police vehicles in Kirkstall Gardens, a narrow residential street, and one round was fired from a police weapon.

According to the IOPC, who have launched a homicide investigation into the incident, officers had pursued the car as the car Mr Kaba was driving was flagged up on automatic number plate recognition and they believed that it was linked to a previous firearms incident. 

The IOPC later said that no gun was found in the car and it was not registered to Mr Kaba.

Mr Bosela said that the family would like to see bodycam and aerial footage of the incident, and would like to know how long the IOPC investigation will take to complete.

 He said: ‘We want the footage to be shown to the family to have a clear understanding of what happened.’

Mr Kaba, 24, who had been due to become a father, was killed while unarmed on September 5 following a police pursuit which ended in Streatham Hill, south London

Protesters gathered last week demandng justice for Chris Kaba making their way to Scotland Yard

On the IOPC’s decision to yesterday suspend the officer, Mr Bosela said that the family welcomed it but thought they had been too slow to act.

Mr Bosela added: ‘I think the second an investigation was opened he should have been suspended from there.

‘You know, it’s the fact that the IOPC are moving a bit too slow. First we wanted a criminal investigation opened and that took three to four days, and then we wanted the officer suspended and that took another two days.

‘So it seems that there is no urgency in their dealings in this tragic matter.’

Mr Bosela added: ‘We want a timeline of how long the investigation will take because the IOPC are renowned for having very lengthy investigations. We want it to be swift, we want it to be effective and we want it to be thorough.

‘We won’t be waiting years for this. We want justice as soon as we can.’

It comes after hundreds of protesters gathered outside New Scotland Yard on Saturday following the shooting.

Campaigners and MPs including Harriet Harman and Bell Ribeiro-Addy had previously called for the officer’s suspension, describing it as ‘incomprehensible’ that the officer was not disciplined in the wake of the shooting.

Mr Bosela said that the family wanted to know if police knew if he was in the car or were simply following the vehicle. 

‘They haven’t given us a definitive answer,’ said Mr Bosela.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: ‘I’ve put it out there he wasn’t perfect… but regardless of that nobody deserves to be killed by the police unless there is an imminent or direct threat to the public, which at that moment in time, from what I’m hearing, he was not.’ 

The family were informed of the suspension while they were holding a vigil for Mr Kaba at Kirkstall Gardens on Monday night.

Mr Bosela said: ‘We welcomed the news but it happened a little bit too late. The second there’s a criminal investigation, you need to suspend the officer. In any other job, you would be suspended immediately.

‘I don’t know why police officers still get the luxury of working even though they’re under a criminal investigation.’

The family were informed of the suspension while they were holding a vigil for Mr Kaba at Kirkstall Gardens on Monday night

Monday night’s vigil was the first time that Mr Kaba’s mother, Helen Nkama, had been at the scene of his death.

Mr Bosela said: ‘Chris’s parents are suffering an unimaginable loss. The nature in which he died makes it really harsh and so difficult. They’re so strong but they’re struggling.

‘At the vigil, his mother was saying, ‘Chris, what were you saying in your last minutes? I wish I had just one minute with you, speak to me please’. It was heartbreaking.

‘Personally, I haven’t been eating. I’ve lost so much weight. I’m grieving when I can but my focus right now is fighting for justice.’

He added that the police’s actions have reinforced a lack of trust in them: ‘The trust was never there anyway. (The relationship) is already damaged and broken. It’s reaffirmed how it felt: that the trust is gone.’

Mr Bosela has set up a GoFundMe and an Instagram account, @JusticeForChrisKaba, for the family’s campaign.

The GoFundMe has already raised £20,000 of its £50,000 goal.

Demonstrators march down Whitehall to Scotland Yard to protest the killing of Chris Kaba on Saturday

Met assistant commissioner Amanda Pearson said in a statement on Monday after the officer’s suspension: ‘Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty.

‘This decision has been reached following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence, and in light of the Independent Office for Police Conduct announcing a homicide investigation.

‘Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s family and friends. We understand how concerned communities are, particularly black communities, and thank those who are working closely with our local officers.’

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