Chris Kaba: Police officer who shot dead unarmed Black man charged with murder

A firearms officer who shot dead an unarmed Black man has been charged with murder, the Crown Prosecution Service said.

Chris Kaba, 24, who had been due to become a father, was killed with a single gunshot to the head on 5 September 2022 in Streatham Hill, south London.

Mr Kaba, who was a rapper under the alias Madix or Mad Itch, was shot through the windscreen of the Audi Q8 he was driving following a “pursuit” with Met officers.

It later emerged that the vehicle Mr Kaba was driving – which did not belong to him – had been linked to a firearms incident the previous day.

The unidentified officer, known only as NX121, was charged following a review of evidence provided by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) which carried out an investigation.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Following a thorough review of the evidence provided by the IOPC, the CPS has authorised a charge of murder against a Metropolitan Police officer following the death of Chris Kaba.

“Mr Kaba died after he was struck by a single bullet in Streatham Hill, south London.

“The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the officer are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.

“It is extremely important there should be no reporting, commentary or sharing of information online which could in any way prejudice these proceedings.”

The police shooting of Chris Kaba sparked protests by campaigners (Left Unity/PA) (PA)
The police shooting of Chris Kaba sparked protests by campaigners (Left Unity/PA) (PA)

In a joint statement, the family of Chris Kaba said: “Chris was so very loved by our family and all his friends. He had a bright future ahead of him, but his life was cut short. Our family and our wider community must see justice for Chris.

“We welcome this charging decision, which could not have come too soon. Now we await the trial of the firearms officer without delay and hope and pray that justice will be served.”

IOPC director Amanda Rowe said: “The officer and Mr Kaba’s family were notified of the decision by the CPS this morning.

“The officer, who we are unable to name for legal reasons at this time, will be appearing at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court tomorrow morning.

“Our thoughts remain with Mr Kaba’s family and everyone affected by this tragic incident. It’s important now that criminal proceedings are able to run their course. We would reiterate the importance of not reporting, commenting or sharing information online which could in any way prejudice those proceedings.”

Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour’s MP for Streatham, said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Chris’s loved ones, who have had to campaign so hard to ensure this basic accountability. I hope that justice is served.”

Since 1990, there have been 1,870 deaths in or following police custody or contact in England and Wales, as recorded by INQUEST the charity.

In that time, there has only been one successful prosecution of a police officer for manslaughter in 2021, and none for murder.