Chris Kaba: Family of London rapper shot dead by armed police demand murder probe

·5-min read
Chris Kaba died after a police chase that ended in Streatham Hill (Supplied)
Chris Kaba died after a police chase that ended in Streatham Hill (Supplied)

The family of a rapper shot dead by armed Met officers have called for a murder investigation to be launched into the circumstances surrounding his death.

Chris Kaba, who was due to become a father within months, died after a police chase that ended in Streatham Hill, south London, on Monday night.

The IOPC, the police watchdog, confirmed on Wednesday that no non-police firearms were found in the car Mr Kaba was inside or at the scene.

It said it understood armed police pursued the car because an automatic number plate recognition camera indicated the vehicle was linked to a firearms incident in the previous days.

It said it could not provide further details, citing a Met Police investigation.

Mr Kaba’s Audi was hemmed in by two police cars in narrow residential street Kirkstall Gardens before one round was fired from a police weapon.

In a statement released through the charity Inquest earlier on Wednesday, Mr Kaba’s family called for a murder probe to be launched.

The statement read: “The family of Chris Kaba seek a homicide investigation into his death from the outset. We have today told the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) of that demand and that we do not want any delay as has happened in other fatal shootings - otherwise we and the wider public can have no confidence that the police will be held to account.

 (PA Wire)
(PA Wire)

“We also want the IOPC to tell us whether or not a weapon was found in any search of the vehicle that Chris was driving. We have not received this information even though the shooting happened almost two days ago.

“Finally, we are desperately appealing for any witnesses, whether before, during or after the pursuit and the shooting, to come forward to the IOPC and/or to our solicitors at Hickman and Rose.

“We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability. We are worried that if Chris had not been black, he would have been arrested on Monday evening and not had his life cut short.”

The IOPC said it was committed to carrying out a thorough and comprehensive investigation to establish all of the facts surrounding the fatal shooting and that a detailed forensic examination will be completed on the vehicle Mr Kaba was driving and on some of the police vehicles involved.

IOPC Regional Director, Sal Naseem said: “We recognise that there is community concern following this incident and we appreciate that questions will remain around how Mr Kaba tragically ended up being fatally shot following an attempted vehicle stop.

"We are working hard to piece together all of the circumstances surrounding this incident and we want to reassure the community that these questions will be answered in due course, however it will take some time before our investigation is able to uncover all of the facts.

"While these details are still being confirmed, we ask that the public avoid speculating about this incident out of respect for Mr Kaba's family and for anyone else affected.”

Mr Naseem added: “Our heartfelt sympathies remain with Mr Kaba's family and friends, and everyone affected by this tragic incident.”

Earlier on Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police expressed its condolences to the loved ones of the rapper shot dead by armed officers, saying the force understands that “the family and community want answers”.

Pastoress Lorraine Jones (left) with Kimberly Alleyne, 49, whose daughter was engaged to Mr Kaba (PA Wire)
Pastoress Lorraine Jones (left) with Kimberly Alleyne, 49, whose daughter was engaged to Mr Kaba (PA Wire)

In a statement issued on Wednesday, Commander Alexis Boon said: “I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who died and I recognise the devastating and lasting impact this tragic incident will have on them.

“I understand that this incident is extremely concerning and I would like to reassure the community that the Met is co-operating fully with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) as they carry out a thorough and independent investigation.

“I also recognise that the family and community want answers about what happened. I know the IOPC investigators are working hard to establish the facts but also need some time and space to be able to progress their inquiries.

“Myself, along with the local policing commander, have met with key partners and community members, and will continue to actively work together to engage with, and to reassure the public, at this difficult time.”

The pastor at a church which Mr Kaba attended as a child said that there are discussions in the community about organising a vigil for him.

Reverend Siaa-Liane Mathurin, of New Park Road Baptist Church, said: “Chris came to the church when he was little. He was from round here, he lived just over the road.

“The community are scared. I’ve had young people come to me asking ‘why did they shoot him?’

“There are families who didn’t send their kids to school today.

“I’m speaking to community leaders about organising a demonstration or a vigil.”

Speaking at the scene on Tuesday, Kim Alleyne, 49, whose daughter Karimah Waite was engaged to Mr Kaba, said of him: “He was so loved. He was so funny. He was super kind. Crazy. He was always happy. He’d do anything for you.

“He was a fiance, he was due to get married in five months’ time. He’s got a baby on the way that he’s never going to see.

“It’s horrible and so shocking and so sad.”

Some paying tribute at the scene said Mr Kaba was a rapper known as Madix or Mad Itch 67.

Jefferson Bosela, 27, who was Mr Kaba’s cousin, said: “He was a good person, a good, happy guy. He didn’t deserve that. No-one deserves that.

“Nobody deserves to be shot by the police, whether they are a good person or a bad person.”

Anyone with information about the events that evening is being asked by the IOPC to contact them by phoning 0300 303 0779 or by emailing witness@policeconduct.gov.uk, referencing “Streatham Hill.