'I need justice for my son': Chris Kaba’s mum and dad say 'huge gap' has been left in their family’s lives

5 March 2023, 10:56 | Updated: 5 March 2023, 12:15

Chris Kaba was fatally shot in the head by a Metropolitan Police officer on September 5
Chris Kaba was fatally shot in the head by a Metropolitan Police officer on September 5. Picture: PA/LBC
Lillie Almond

By Lillie Almond

Six months after the 24 year old father-to-be and fiancé was killed by police in South London, Chris Kaba’s parents have told LBC that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) urgently need to deliver justice.

Mr Kaba’s family held a community event at New Road Baptist Church on Saturday 4th March - marking six months since the unarmed Black man was shot by a Metropolitan Police Firearms Officer.

Speaking to LBC for the first time, Chris Kaba’s father Prosper Kaba said: "We as a family - we think that six months is too much.

"The killer, if he was not an Officer, he should be in prison. Why is it taking long for justice? Do we need two justice for one country - or one justice for everyone?"

Chris’ mother, Helen Kaba added: "Everything has been stopped. We cannot do nothing - because we are thinking every day, every single day, we are thinking about Chris.

"What will happen exactly in this case? Because they are taking too long - but we need answers. This was the happiest boy, happiest man, father to be - he deserved life."

Chris Kaba's family speak to LBC
Chris Kaba's family speak to LBC. Picture: LBC

Read More: Chris Kaba's family call for Met Police officer to be 'immediately suspended'

Read More: Car driven by Chris Kaba collided with police vehicles before he was shot, an inquest has heard

Mr Kaba’s parents described the sadness they have for their baby granddaughter, who was born months after her father was killed.

Yesterday’s community event saw family and friends gather, share stories and listen to words given by Mr Kaba’s family. The hall was decorated with pictures of Chris smiling - and a slideshow played videos of him in happy times.

Afterwards, there was by a vigil in nearby Kirkstall Gardens - where police stopped Mr Kaba in the Audi he’d been driving six months ago. People cried, lit candles and sang.

They held a minute’s silence under a sign which reads “Justice for Chris Kaba.”

Chris Kaba's parents speak to LBC

Chris Kaba
Chris Kaba. Picture: LBC

Chris’ family and the wider community are asking why the IOPC’s investigation is taking this long.

They reiterated concerns that the police car which followed him used no blue lights or sirens when doing so - and that he was killed by a single gunshot to the head, through the windscreen of the car he’d been driving.

The officer who shot Mr Kaba, known only as NX121, was suspended from duty one week after it happened.

The IOPC said: "We are confident that our investigation into the circumstances surrounding the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba will conclude within the six to nine month timeframe we specified at the outset.

"We are awaiting an external report which we require in order to conclude our investigation, finalise our report and then decide whether or not to refer a file of evidence to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision."

Mr Kaba’s family held a community event at New Road Baptist Church
Mr Kaba’s family held a community event at New Road Baptist Church. Picture: LBC

But for Chris Kaba’s family, this is not enough. They say: "We must never accept a young unarmed Black man being shot by police on the streets of London as normal.

"This should never have happened. It must never happen again. Chris was so loved by our family and all his friends. He had a bright future ahead of him before his life was cut short.

"Alongside the community of supporters standing with us, our family cannot wait any longer.”

One of those supporters of the #justiceforchriskaba campaign is Local Community Leader and Activist Rachel Swaby - who was on Kirkstall Gardens after Mr Kaba died.

Ms Swaby told LBC: "The family and ourselves are asking for answers. We want to know who, how and why - and we won’t rest until we get those answers.”

Daniel Machover of Hickman & Rose, who represent Chris Kaba’s family, said: "If a member of the public is killed by another member of the public who is known to the police on the day of the death, it would rightly be considered outrageous for the bereaved family to be waiting for more than five months for the criminal investigation to be completed.

"The IOPC is failing this family and the wider public by failing to complete its criminal investigation promptly."

Mr Kaba’s family and their supporters are calling for more detailed updates from the IOPC. They urgently want a charging decision to be made regarding the officer/s involved in the killing of Chris Kaba.