Investigators will soon consider whether race was a factor in the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba by an armed police officer, the police watchdog said.
The Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) said it would ‘explore all circumstances; surrounding the death of the unarmed 24-year-old rapper.
This includes whether ‘race influenced any actions taken by the police’.
Investigators will investigate whether the officers involved knew Kaba before the incident and how they learned about the vehicle he was driving, the watchdog said.
The investigation is expected to last between six and nine months.
Sal Naseem, IOPC’s regional director, said that Kaba’s family was involved in the discussions.
He said: “We fully appreciate that Chris Kaba’s devastated family and community have many unanswered questions about his death.
“We are in contact with Chris’ family this week to answer a number of questions they have and to offer them, privately and confidentially, the opportunity to view the video footage as soon as possible.
“We understand that people want answers quickly, but this is a complex investigation that involves a significant amount of evidence.
“There are a number of investigations to be carried out in 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 the facts.”
The Metropolitan Police says it welcomes ‘important conversations’ going forward.
Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “We continue to fully support the IOPC investigation as they work to establish the facts and attempt to answer the many questions Kaba’s family and others have about his tragic death.
‘We’ve spent this week talking to local communities in London, including our Independent Advisory Groups – we know how important it is to hear your views and concerns and explain what’s going on as far as possible. We welcome more of these important conversations.’
Hundreds marched through Parliament on Saturday demanding justice for the 24-year-old.
They held up signs with slogans like ‘no justice, no peace’.
The Metropolitan Black Police Association (Met BPA) offered condolences to Kaba’s family and said it supported the IOPC and Met’s responses to the incident so far.
Speaking about the public response to the incident, a spokesperson for the group added: “There was a legitimate and powerful display of community strength and unity.
‘While it’s heartening to see, it comes through once again through obvious pain and frustration.’
Kaba, who was about to become a father, was killed on 5 September after a police chase of his car ended in Streatham Hill in south London.
His Audi was surrounded by two police vehicles in Kirkstall Gardens, a narrow residential street, and a shot was fired from a police gun.
The metropolitan police officer involved has already been suspended by force.
An inquiry into Kaba’s death will open on October 4.
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Source : metro.co.uk