Whilst our thoughts have been focused on Balmoral, her Majesty the Queen was not the only person to die this week and whilst crowds were gathering in London on Saturday, not all were there to pay their respects to her. In fact a Sky reporting mistakenly assumed that people in Trafalgar Square were on their way to the palace when the reality was that they were there for a march and protest in response to another death.
You may well have missed it as other events pushed this tragedy further down the news cycle, so let me appraise you of things. At 10pm on Monday night, Kaba, a rap artist was shot dead following a police chase. The car driven by him was not registered to him and had been linked with a firearms incident previously. However, no firearms were found at the scene, Kaba was unarmed. Chris Kaba was about to become a father.
I don’t believe that the police’s involvement in the vehicle chase itself is under question. The question is whether or not Kaba should have been shot by a police marksman. His parents have stated that they believe he should have been arrested.
There are therefore some questions to be answered about why the marksman opened fire, whether that was under instruction and on what basis. Many of us will have great concerns about the implications of armed police involvement in this way. Then, there is the question that the man’s parents have asked about whether he would have been arrested and in custody now rather than shot if he were not black. It is still not that long since the killing of George Floyd provoked the #BlackLivesMatter protests and the issue of policing and the experience of that policing by the Black Community, here as well as in the States remains live.
The IOPC are investigating the shooting and have confirmed that Kaba’s death is being treated and homicide so that their inquiry is a criminal investigation.
Our concern should be that there will be justice for Kaba and our thoughts and prayers should be with his family.