Family of Chris Kaba afraid whenever their sons leave house one year on from shooting

6 September 2023, 18:42 | Updated: 7 September 2023, 11:42

Kaba was shot dead by police
Kaba was shot dead by police. Picture: Handout
Lillie Almond

By Lillie Almond

The parents of a man shot dead by police have said that they are now afraid of getting "another call" when their other sons leave the house, because they're worried about who will be next - while they continue to wait for a charging decision over the death of Chris Kaba.

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Mr Kaba's father Prosper says he has “lost the taste for life” and wonders if it will ever come back, one year after his son was killed.

Yesterday, parents Prosper and Helen Kaba, alongside supporters, held a panel-led gathering inside Parliament. The conversation was in part to discuss the year milestone since Mr Kaba was killed, and to share feelings about the length of time the CPS has taken to make a charging decision over his death.

But it was more-so to remember Chris Kaba - and to pay tribute to who he was as a person. The 24 year old father-to-be was killed in Streatham Hill, South East London - after the Audi he was driving was followed by an unmarked police car, using no blue-lights or sirens.

The then serving Metropolitan Police firearms officer who shot him in the head through the car windscreen, known only as NX121, was suspended around a week later.

Read more: Met police firearms officer faces criminal charges over fatal shooting of Chris Kaba

In March this year, the Independent Office for Police Conduct passed the case to the Crown Prosecution Service for a charging decision. And with the CPS is where the case currently sits. But the Kaba family want to know why it is still there - they feel that there has been a lack of urgency in addressing it.

During the evening, Prosper described his love for his son, and spoke about Chris wanting to make everyone smile. Mum Helen spoke about both her time having Chris when he was a baby - and how she now thinks about and always misses him, particularly when she’s going to sleep; she said she feels empty.

Also sitting on the panel in the Committee Room, was Streatham MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy.

Afterwards, she described the evening to LBC: “You could feel a deep sense of pain amongst the family, expressing to all of us how much, how hurtful it is still is for them, expressing how difficult it is for them - and how joyful they are that Chris’ nine month child is here in the world now, but how much pain they feel when they know that she is never going to meet her father.

"You hear from the community the fear that they have that this is not the last time something like this happens - and while we know that there has been a lot of anger in the past, today was one of deep reflection and grief.”

This ongoing grief of the Kaba family was also raised in a separate interview with LBC, by the Executive Director of Inquest, which is a charity that has been supporting them. Deborah Coles said: “What can be more serious than the shooting dead by police of an unarmed black man? And let’s not forget that, those are the circumstances here.

“But in what other comparable suspected homicide cases involving firearms discharged by a civilian, does the CPS consider it appropriate to take so long to make a charging decision? Those are the words of the family lawyer.

“And I think, for Inquest, what we see time and time again is how the rule of law and the investigation process just does not seem to apply to police officers.”

The CPS says that it is carefully considering the file of evidence - and that it does not provide timescales for charging decisions.

But supporters of the Justice for Chris Kaba Campaign are not and will not be appeased by these words. People on yesterday’s panel spoke about justice, about community, and about coming together to support one another.

For now - all eyes are on the CPS, while family and friends of Chris Kaba, and all those supporting the campaign, wait to hear if anyone will be charged over his death.

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