The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has said it aims to complete its criminal investigation of the shooting dead of Chris Kaba by a Metropolitan Police officer on 5 September 2022 “within six to nine months” and has informed Kaba’s family of this.
In a statement released this evening the IOPC said its investigators are collating and reviewing “a large amount of evidence” about the homicide and are exploring circumstances including how the officers involved “came to be aware of the vehicle Mr Kaba was driving”, if they had “any prior knowledge of Mr Kaba” and their “decision-making and actions” on the night of Kaba’s death, as well as examining “whether or not Mr Kaba’s race influenced any actions taken by the police”.
The statement adds that the IOPC will “continue to be limited in what details we can release as we can’t risk prejudicing any proceedings that may follow” but also that “the law requires us to to produce a detailed final report that accurately summarises all relevant evidence before we can decide whether to refer a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service”.
Kaba was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head after he was pursued while driving and brought to a halt in Streatham Hill by two police cars. The IOPC stated on 7 September that the chase took place following “the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera which indicated the car was linked to a firearms incident in previous days” and that “no non-police issue firearm has been recovered from the vehicle or the scene. Two days later, on 9 September, the IOPC disclosed that “the vehicle Mr Kaba was driving was not registered to him”.
The new statement confirms reports that Kaba’s family have been offered the opportunity to “privately and confidentially” view video footage “as soon as is practicable”.
Responding, Sadiq Khan said: “I’ve said from the outset that the IOPC must go wherever the evidence takes them and they have a duty to examine all the factors involved without fear or favour. I hope they can do so as swiftly as possible. I fully understand the grave concerns and impact of Chris Kaba’s death on Black Londoners across our city and the anger, pain and fear it has caused across our communities – as well as the desire for justice and change.”
The Mayor, whose job includes being London’s police and crime commissioner, continued: “The IOPC have confirmed to me that they are fully committed to carrying out a thorough and comprehensive investigation to establish all of the facts – with all key findings made public. I’m clear that the independent investigation must be fearless and leave no stone unturned.”
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