Investigators will consider whether race was a factor in the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, it has been revealed.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said it will “explore all of the circumstances” surrounding the death of the unarmed rapper, including whether “race influenced any actions taken by the police”.
Mr Kaba, 24, was shot by police officers on 5 September after a police pursuit of his car which ended in Streatham Hill, south London.
His Audi was hemmed in by two police cars in a narrow residential street before one round was fired from a police weapon.
The Metropolitan Police officer involved has been suspended.
The IOPC will examine whether the police officers knew Mr Kaba before the incident and how they came to be aware of the vehicle he had been driving.
IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: “We fully appreciate that Chris Kaba’s devastated family and the community have a lot of unanswered questions about his death.
“We have been in further contact with Chris’s family this week to answer a number of questions they have and to offer them privately and confidentially the opportunity to view video footage as soon as it is practicable.
‘Significant amount of evidence’
“We have also advised Chris’s family that we aim to complete our investigation within six to nine months.
“We understand that people want answers quickly, but this is a complex investigation involving a significant amount of evidence.
“There are a number of inquiries to carry out over the coming weeks and months, including expert analysis, and it is important that we allow our investigation to run its course as we seek to establish all of the facts.”
Mr Kaba’s relatives, however, are upset that the investigation could take up to nine months, saying this is “unacceptably long” and “lacks urgency”.
Daniel Machover, head of civil litigation at Hickman & Rose, who is acting on behalf of the family, said: “It indicates insufficient resources to do the job.
“Meanwhile, the IOPC continues to withhold basic information from the family.”
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Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “We continue to fully support the IOPC investigation as they work to establish the facts and try to answer the many questions Mr Kaba’s family and others have around his tragic death.
“We’ve been spending this week speaking with local communities across London, including our Independent Advisory Groups – we know how important it is we listen to their views and concerns and explain as far as we can what is happening. We welcome more of these important conversations.”
‘Evident pain and frustration’
A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) said: “There has been a legitimate and powerful show of community strength and unity.
“While heartening to see, it comes yet again through evident pain and frustration.
“This incident comes at a critical time when the MPS remains in special measures over a string of high profile and appalling incidents and are signed up to the Race Action Plan, which commits to fair treatment and anti-racism in policing.
“Therefore, it is vitally important these commitments manifest themselves in sensitive and meaningful engagement in the community, timely information and responsive support to the Kaba family.
“The Met BPA continue to be vocal as a critical friend to the Metropolitan Police and in support of London’s community.”
An inquest into Mr Kaba’s death will be opened on 4 October.