'Chris Kaba. Say his name!' Hundreds protest after black man is shot dead by police

·3-min read

The chants echoing along London’s Victoria Embankment would have been clearly heard in the headquarters of the Metropolitan Police.

"Chris Kaba. Say his name!"

Hundreds shouted the name of the 24-year-old black man shot dead by an officer on a residential street in Streatham Hill nearly two weeks ago.

Among those present outside New Scotland Yard on Saturday afternoon was Chris's cousin, Jefferson Bosela.

"I don't want you to think they are just coming out for Chris," he said. "They are coming out against the system.

"This is a wider issue here that so many people, so many families are grieving as a result of their children, their daughters, their sons being harmed or dying in police custody or coming into contact with police."

On 5 September the car Mr Kaba was driving was hemmed in by two police vehicles and a single shot fired by an officer through the windscreen.

A short time later, he was confirmed dead.

The car wasn't registered to Mr Kaba. No firearm was found.

His cousin says it is critical the police are held to account for the death of a young man about to become a father.

"How do I look his daughter in the eyes when she grows up and say that your father died as a result of a police officer shooting him and we didn't get justice," said Mr Bosela, who looks worn and exhausted with the strain of his loss.

"That means we have to get justice because I want to be able to look her in the eyes and say we did everything we could."

At a protest last week, the family had three demands, all of which have been met.

The officer who fired the shot has been suspended, the family will get to see bodycam footage next week and they now know how long the investigation is due to take.

They have been told six to nine months.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) says it is a complex investigation involving a significant amount of evidence to consider, some of which will require expert analysis, which all takes time.

But lawyers for the family describe the timescale as unacceptably long and lacking in urgency.

Instead the family wants a decision on charging to be made within weeks.

They also want to find out if police knew it was Mr Kaba in the car or were officers just following a suspect vehicle.

The third new demand is for the suspended officer to be interviewed under caution.

Similar protests were held up and down the country after a national call to action.

The Metropolitan Police says it fully supports the investigation, which the IOPC has confirmed will consider if race was a factor.

Read more:
Chris Kaba's family call for nationwide protests
Police officer who shot dead unarmed Chris Kaba suspended

Chris Sibia was among those in the crowd.

"We want equal rights just like everyone else," he said.

"You know if this happens to another group it seems justice is swift. In the black community it's always lacking."

Dreaon Simms, who is 17 and a deputy youth leader at Southwark Youth Parliament nearby, was also at the protest with his father.

He said: "I don't feel protected so I want to know when I will feel protected by the police rather than having to be scared of the police."

And Liz Wheatley said protestors would not let police and investigators "brush it under the carpet".

"We're not going to have another person who just becomes as statistic," she said.