Chris Kaba: Armed police ‘threaten to step down over colleague’s suspension’ - report

·3-min read

Firearms officers are reportedly threatening to hand in their guns after their colleague who fired the fatal shot that killed unarmed black man Chris Kaba was suspended.

Rapper Mr Kaba, 24, was fatally shot by police in Streatham Hill, south London, after a police chase on September 5.

On Monday, Scotland Yard confirmed that the officer in question had been suspended from frontline duties.

Chris Kaba was shot by armed officers (PA Media)
Chris Kaba was shot by armed officers (PA Media)

But one source within the firearms command is reported to have told The Telegraph: “There is real anger in the ranks about this.

“They are all volunteers and they are increasingly feeling ‘what is the point of doing this if our bosses do not have our backs’.

“This is a decision that has been taken to placate public anger pure and simple.

“Some of them have simply had enough and have said ‘that’s it, we’re out’.”

The source said the officers in question would continue their duty during the operations for the Queen’s funeral but then quit.

Chris Kaba’s parents, Prosper Kaba and Helen Nkama, called the Met’s shooting unjustified and racist (BBC)
Chris Kaba’s parents, Prosper Kaba and Helen Nkama, called the Met’s shooting unjustified and racist (BBC)

The Metropolitan Police Federation, representing more than 30,000 police officers in London, said they were supporting a “brave firearms colleague and their family”.

They added in a statement posted to Twitter: “Being a firearms officer in London is one of the world’s toughest jobs.”

“Officers - volunteers - know the responsibility/accountability that comes with it and deserve our support. Ill-informed commentary from those in positions of power following any tragic incident is unwarranted

“The Metropolitan Police Federation is supporting a brave firearms colleague involved in a recent incident in South London - and we are also supporting their family. Our thoughts are with all affected.”

It came as Mind, a charity which has delivered mental health support workshops for hundreds of Met officers, tweeted a message of support for people affected by Chris Kaba’s killing.

The killing has provoked outrage (PA Media)
The killing has provoked outrage (PA Media)

It said: “We need to talk about Chris Kaba. The killing of an unarmed black man by a police officer is hard to bear.

“Especially when young black men die disproportionately at the hands of the police. The Queen’s death is dominating the news right now, but Chris Kaba deserves our attention.

“Racial trauma is real. And events like Chris Kaba’s death can be incredibly triggering. If you’re struggling with the news, please reach out. We’re here for you.”

The IOPC said officers had pursued the car because an ANPR camera suggested it had been linked to a firearms incident in previous days. It later said the vehicle was not registered to him.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, his cousin, Jefferson Bosela, 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.”

In response Scotland Yard said: “It was an absolute priority to inform Mr Kaba’s family of the incident; we acknowledge there was a delay as we sought to locate them. Our thoughts and sympathies remain with them for their loss.”

Jefferson Bosela, told the BBC the officer should have been suspended as soon as the homicide investigation was launched on Friday.

Speaking on behalf of the family, Mr Bosela told Radio 4’s Today programme: “We welcome that decision but, to be honest, I think as soon as the second a criminal investigation was opened he should have been suspended from there.

“You know, first we wanted a criminal investigation opened and that took four days, and then the officer being suspended took another two days.

“So it seems like there’s no urgency in their dealings with this quite tragic matter.”