4 October 2022
The family of Chris Kaba this morning attended the opening of an inquest into his death, at which the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) made a brief statement about the state of its investigation so far.
On behalf of the family, Jefferson Bosela said:
“The family is pleased that, in their statement today, the IOPC made public some of its initial findings about what happened that night. Every new fact is a step towards justice for Chris.
We are keen for the IOPC to continue to investigate Chris’ death as a matter of urgency. All we want is the truth.
Tomorrow, 5 October, marks exactly one month since Chris was shot dead by a police officer while sitting, unarmed, in a car.
Ever since that terrible moment my family, and everyone that knew him are asking one question: WHY?
A month on, and we are still very far from getting a proper answer.
But there is something else we want to know, which is just as important: WHO WILL BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR HIS DEATH?
I am Chris’s cousin and today, we are here – as a family – because we want answers to both of those questions.
We need ANSWERS. Not just this family, but the whole of London – the whole of the country – needs to know how something like this could occur?
How can a young man, sitting in a car, unarmed, be shot in the head by police in London in 2022?
This should never have happened. It must never happen again. We must never accept this as normal. Someone must be held accountable.
We are glad this matter is being investigated by the IOPC as a homicide investigation and we hope this will lead to prosecutions. But we are alarmed at what we have been told about how long this is expected to take.
We do not accept that this process should take longer than other murder investigations, merely because the person who killed Chris is a police officer.
THREE things must now happen:
1. Officers must be interviewed under caution immediately.
We have been told that after nearly a month, neither the officer who killed Chris or any of the other officers involved have been interviewed under caution.
2. A CPS charging decision needs to happen urgently.
This should not take months and months. The evidence they need to make that decision should be available within weeks. An urgent decision on criminal charges is critical for this family, and many others, to have faith in the system that is supposed to bring them justice.
3. The family needs to be kept up to date with the investigation.
While we have had positive communications with the IOPC, at times our family has had to chase the IOPC for information or push them to do what they should be doing already. The best way for the family to have confidence in the process, is for the family to be kept closely informed at every stage.
We know there are many, many people who are as concerned about what happened to Chris as his family and friends are.
For many of them, Chris could have been their son, their brother, their cousin, their friend. In communities across London, what happened to Chris feels very personal. They understand and feel the pain our family is going through.
The family thanks everyone who has supported the justice campaign. That support has been so important – and it shows that what happened to Chris is something that thousands of people feel is unacceptable.
We also ask that anyone that has any information – people who may have seen something or may have video that was taken on a camera or a phone – please contact our lawyers and provide it to us or contact the IOPC and provide it to them. We want to ensure that we have as much evidence as possible, so that we have the best chance of ensuring justice is done.
My cousin Chris was very much loved by us. His loss is with us every day. He had a bright future ahead of him – his first child was about to be born. That his life was cut short by a police officer is a tragedy.
We will not rest until the people responsible for Chris’ death are held fully accountable.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For more information and photos contact Lucy McKay on [email protected]