PARENTS of Chris Kaba, who was shot dead by police in south London a year ago today, said yesterday that they need to hear if the officer involved will face criminal charges ‘without delay’.
Chris Kaba, 24, died the day after he was hit by a single gunshot in Streatham Hill on 5 September 2022.
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has had the file of evidence since March.
‘We need a decision,’ his mother Helen said. ‘Not in one week, not in one month, we need it as soon as possible,’ his father Prosper added.
‘If he (the officer) was a civilian, he would have been in jail the next day,’ Prosper Kaba said.
‘He killed Chris, he killed the family as well. There is no life for us. Everyone is missing his smile, everyone is missing his laugh, everyone is missing his jokes.’
‘I feel so empty, I need answers,’ Mrs Kaba added. ‘I need them (the CPS) to tell me why and how.’
Chris Kaba was killed after the car he was driving was followed by an unmarked police car with no lights or sirens. He then turned into Kirkstall Gardens, a narrow residential street, where he was blocked by a marked police car, the two vehicles collided and a marksman fired one shot through the windscreen, hitting him in the head.
The construction worker was months away from becoming a father when he died.
Deborah Coles, director of the charity Inquest that supports bereaved families, said: ‘It is simply unacceptable we do not yet have a charging decision. This exacerbates the family’s trauma and grieving process.’
Lawyer Daniel Machover, of Hickman and Rose, which represents the family, said: ‘I am appalled that, after the IOPC took almost seven months to complete its investigation, the CPS has failed to complete its task within a further five months. In what other comparable suspected homicide case involving firearms discharged by a civilian does the CPS consider it appropriate to take so long to make a charging decision?’
According to Inquest, since 1990 there have been 1,869 deaths in or following police custody in England and Wales. There has only been one conviction of a police officer in that time – West Mercia Police constable Benjamin Monk who was jailed in 2021 for the manslaughter of former footballer Dalian Atkinson.