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MPs Call For Met Police Officer Who Shot Unarmed Black Man To Be Suspended

MPs are calling for the Met police officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba to be suspended while an investigation takes place (Alamy)

4 min read

A group of London MPs are calling for the immediate suspension of the Metropolitan Police officer who fatally shot Chris Kaba, an unarmed black man in South London last week.

Kaba was shot and killed in Kirkstall Gardens in Streatham Hill, south London last Monday by a firearms officer after police made "tactical contact" with a car he was driving. 

The Met have since confirmed the 24-year-old, who was shortly due to become a father, was not carrying a firearm, sparking protests and accusations of racism.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has launched a homicide investigation following the incident, but the officer who shot him remains on active duty.

In a statement released on Sunday, Labour MP for Streatham Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Labour MP for Camberwell and Peckham Harriet Harman called the decision not to suspend the officer “incomprehensible”.

Thousands of people joined a march through central London and a demonstration outside the Met Police’s headquarters on Saturday, including MPs and the rapper Stormzy, who called on people to “have stamina” in the campaign for justice.

On Sunday Ribeiro-Addy, who represents the constituency where the shooting occurred, and Harman, who represents the seat where Kaba’s parents live, held a meeting with Amanda Pearson, Met Police Gold Assistant Commissioner, and Colin Wingrove, the local borough commander.

Afterwards the MPs released a letter saying: "This is a matter which could not be more serious. A young man has lost his life and our sympathies are with his parents and his family. It is incomprehensible that the officer who killed Chris Kaba is not suspended.

"The family, the local community, and we as MPs want to see a swift response in recognition of the utmost seriousness of this. Chris' death was on Monday, it is now Sunday and the officer has yet to be suspended.

"We are calling on the Met to suspend the officer today. Even moving him out of firearms duties or into back-room duties would not be sufficient in view of the seriousness of this matter. It must be suspension and it must be now.”

Speaking to BBC Radio 4's Today programme on Monday morning, Ribeiro-Addy said she had met with Kaba's family, who have "some very clear and reasonable demands", including the suspension of the officer that fired the shot that killed their son.

"It is bizarre that even though that now it's a homicide investigation, this hasn't happened yet. I can't think of any other profession in which this would be the case," she said.

"They also want to be able to view body-worn camera footage, which I think is fair enough and has been allowed in previous cases, and they want a timeline for the IOPC investigation.

"We understand that he has to be thorough, but I think it's really unfair to keep families like Chris's waiting for a very long period of time, which is something that we have seen with the IOPC and the previous body, the IPCC."

Two other London MPs have also called for the officer’s suspension following the meeting.

Dawn Butler, who represents Brent Central, tweeted: “I was at this meeting and I very much supported the call to suspend the officer responsible.

“The Met is already in special measures and this slow response to something as serious as this is just totally unacceptable. No confidence. No justice No peace.”

Abena Oppong-Asare, the MP for Erith and Thamesmead, posted: “I was in this meeting too and have grave concerns. Trust and transparency are critical – in my view a suspension would aid both.

“The Met needs to engage constructively as possible with both Chris’s family and the whole community.”

The officer who fired the fatal shot has been removed from operational duties, but the IOPC confirmed they had not been arrested.

"The officer has been served a criminal notice and a conduct notice," a spokesperson told MyLondon.

“He was not arrested when he was served notice. It did not fit the grounds or necessity for affecting an arrest."

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