Protests across UK over killing of unarmed black man Chris Kaba – The Guardian

Local MP says firearms officer being investigated should have been suspended immediately
Hundreds of people have gathered outside New Scotland Yard as part of a series of protests across the country calling for justice for Chris Kaba, an unarmed black man who was shot dead by police in south London.
The protest is one of many taking place in the UK, in cities such as Manchester, Coventry and Southampton, as part of a National Day of Action organised by the Justice for Chris Kaba campaign.
The police watchdog, the IOPC, is investigating what happened on 5 September, when Kaba was shot, and will look at whether race was a factor.
Bell Ribeiro-Addy, the Labour MP for Streatham, who has been vocal in her support for Kaba’s family, criticised the fact that the firearms officer who is under investigation by the IOPC was not immediately suspended by the Met.
“In any other profession, if you did something which ended someone’s life, you would be suspended immediately,” Ribeiro-Addy said. “It makes no sense to me, and I’m a politician.”
Speaking of Kaba’s family, Ribeiro-Addy also said that there has been some “shock at the level of dignity” the family have had when making their demands. “All they want is justice … They have called for peace every single time and they have even called for people not to make anti-monarchy statements,” Ribeiro-Addy said. “They don’t want to see any unrest because they understand that that type of violence is what ended their son’s life.”
The protest was attended by former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, as well as Marcia Rigg, the sister of Sean Rigg, who died in Brixton police station in 2008 during a mental health crisis.
Addressing the crowd, Rigg said: “Another black man shot unnecessarily by the Metropolitan police … It shouldn’t take a death for us all to wake up again and come out on the streets to fight for equal rights and justice.”
The protest in London was attended by a diverse crowd of people. Sally Thompson, 47, said she had attended the protest because she wanted to support the Kaba family’s calls for justice.
“It was only with public pressure that they suspended the officer in the first place, so I think it’s important for as many people who are able to to come down here and demand justice,” Thompson said.
Outside Manchester’s central library, where about 80 people gathered to protest against the killing, Nahella Ashraf, the co-chair of the city’s Stand Up For Racism group, said the demonstration was a continuation of the Black Lives Matter movement, which broke out around the world in response to the murder of George Floyd in he US in 2020.
“It wasn’t just because we recognised that was a problem over there [in the US],” Ashraf said. “We recognise that systemic racism is inherent in Britain as well, and it’s inherent in our police forces.”
Kelly Morgan, 33, gave birth to her daughter on the same day Mark Duggan was shot and killed by police in north London. She recalled leaving the hospital in 2011, to sights of people protesting.
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“It’s a thing that has been reoccurring throughout both of our lives,” she said, looking at her now 11-year-old daughter. “I’m looking forward to the day when we don’t have to do this anymore.
“I’m a black woman. It’s really traumatic seeing people being killed by the police, consistently,” Morgan added.
As she spoke, a white man with a shaven head yelled: “White lives matter!” The crowd – most of them white – shouted back defiantly: “Black Lives Matter.”
Kaba, who was 24 and about to become a father, was killed after a police pursuit of his car that ended in Streatham Hill. His Audi was hemmed in by two police vehicles in a narrow residential street, and one round was fired from a police weapon. The Met officer involved has been suspended by the force.
On Wednesday, the IOPC confirmed that Kaba’s family would be able to watch a police video from the night he was killed, which they will do next week.
An inquest into Kaba’s death will be opened on 4 October.


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