Crowds have lined the streets of London in mourning the death of Queen Elizabeth. However a juxtaposition has emerged elsewhere in the U.K. capital in which scores of people, largely Black, marched through the streets Saturday (Sept. 10) in peaceful protests to demand justice for Chris Kaba, an unarmed Black man fatally shot on Sept. 5 by a police officer after a car chase.
“We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability,” CNN quotes a statement from Kaba’s family. “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.”
Kaba’s father, Prosper Kaba, told the BBC in an interview that the police have given the family no “justification” for the shooting, adding, “for us it is totally racist and criminal.”
An officer reportedly fired one round, killing Kaba after his car was hemmed in by two police vehicles in a narrow residential street. He was given first aid by officers at the scene but died later in a hospital.
The pursuit began after the police attempted to stop Kaba because an automatic license plate number recognition camera indicated that his car was linked to a previous firearms incident, CNN reported, citing information from the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). The probe found that Kaba was unarmed.
According to Pinkvilla.com, Kaba, 24, was an aspiring rapper and member of the British hip hop collective, the drill group 67. Known in the London rap community as Madix or Mad Itch 67, Kaba was expecting his first child with his fiance Karima Waite in a few months when his life was cut short.
The Daily Mail reports that the IOPC is investigating the officer for homicide. However, the Metropolitan Police have not suspended or restricted the duties of any officers involved in the shooting.
“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,” Metropolitan Police commander Alexis Boon said in a statement, adding that the department is “cooperating fully” with the investigation.
Protesters, carrying signs demanding justice for Kaba, told the BBC that they are outraged by the killing. Nathaniel Martin, 30, said he was “frustrated and upset” that “at any time men like me and Chris (Kaba) can have this happen to them,” adding, “He didn't need to die.”