Chris Kaba: Everything that has happened since armed police officer charged with murder

An armed policeman outside the house of Commons, London.
The decision to charge an armed police officer with murder has sparked a review into armed policing, and prompted over 100 officers to step back from armed duties. (Stock image: Getty)

What's happening?

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has ordered a review into armed policing as the fallout continues following the murder charge of a police officer in relation to the death of an unarmed man.

More than 100 police officers have reportedly stepped back from their firearms duties after an unnamed Met Police officer appeared in court on Thursday charged with the murder of Chris Kaba in the capital in September last year.

The decision to charge the officer, who is named only as NX121, has sparked discussions around how it will impact firearms officers in the future.

As the Home Secretary ordered a review into armed policing, she said firearms officers have to make "split-second decisions" and "mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties".

The comments, written on X, prompted critics to accused Braverman of interfering in a live prosecution.

Yahoo News looked at everything that has happened since Chris Kaba was shot dead, and the fallout of the decision to charge a Met Police officer.

What happened to Chris Kaba?

Chris Kaba was shot dead by an armed police officer in London in September 2022. (Family handout)
Chris Kaba was shot dead by an armed police officer in London in September 2022. (Family handout)

Kaba died after a police operation in Streatham Hill, south-east London, in September last year.

In the moments before the shooting, the 24-year-old - who was unarmed - had turned into Kirkstall Gardens and collided with a marked police car.

An armed officer fired one shot that passed through the windscreen of the car that Kaba was driving and hit him in the head.

Officers at the scene provided first aid to Kaba before he was taken to King’s College Hospital, where he was pronounced dead at 12.16am on 6 September 2022.

His death sparked protests in cities across the UK and an investigation was launched by the IOPC, the police watchdog.

Earlier this month, Kaba's parents led a protest in London to mark the one-year anniversary of his death and to call for answers.

Read more: Chris Kaba: Parents of man shot by police call for justice a year after his death (Sky News)

What has happened now?

After a year of campaigning, it was announced this week that a Met Police officer would appear in court charged with murder in relation to the fatal shooting.

The officer, who has been named only as NX121 after a district judge granted an anonymity order, appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and the Old Bailey on Thursday.

He was granted bail and is set to return to court in December.

The decision to charge the officer prompted a number of officers - rumoured to be more than 100 - to step back from their firearms duties and "consider their position" amid concerns of the possible ramifications.

The Met Police said senior officers, including the force's commissioner, had been meeting with firearms officers to listen to their concerns.

A spokesman for the force said: "Many are worried about how the decision impacts on them, on their colleagues and on their families.“

"They are concerned that it signals a shift in the way the decisions they make in the most challenging circumstances will be judged.

"A number of officers have taken the decision to step back from armed duties while they consider their position. That number has increased over the past 48 hours."

The situation meant officers from neighbouring forces had stepped in to help patrol London - where armed officers cover areas including Parliament, diplomatic premises, airports and some communities.

Read more: Chris Kaba: Liz Truss won't comment on killing of unarmed Black man while country is mourning the Queen (Yahoo News UK)

What will happen now?

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - SEPTEMBER 05, 2023: Secretary of State for the Home Department Suella Braverman arrives in Downing Street to attend the weekly Cabinet meeting in London, United Kingdom on September 05, 2023. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz/Future Publishing via Getty Images)
Suella Braverman has announced a review into armed policing. (Getty)

As the situation continued to develop, on Sunday Home Secretary Suella Braverman said she had launched a review into armed policing, saying officers must "have the confidence to do their jobs".

She wrote on X, formerly Twitter: "We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous and violent in society.

"In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.

"They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing and I will do everything in my power to support them.

"That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all."

Her comments prompted some to accuse the Home Secretary of interfering in a live criminal case.

Among those were Nazir Afzal, former chief crown prosecutor for North West England, who said there was "no justification" for her comments.

Meanwhile, it was suggested that soldiers could be drafted in to fill in for armed police, with Scotland Yard said to have asked for military support for counter-terrorism duties if armed officers were unavailable due to the number how had stood down.

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