An up-and-coming UK rapper was unarmed when he was shot and killed by a police officer on Monday.
Chris Kaba’s heartbroken family called for a formal murder investigation after a police watchdog group found there were no weapons or firearms in the 24-year-old’s car during a police stop.
Kaba, who was known as Madix or Mad Itch 67 in the music world, was set to become a father within months.
“We are devastated; we need answers and we need accountability. We are worried that if Chris had not been black, he would have been arrested on Monday evening and not had his life cut short,” his family said in a statement.
Officers pursued Kaba in Lambeth, South London just before 10 p.m. on Monday after an automatic license plate camera indicated the vehicle was linked to an armed incident in recent days. The Audi vehicle Kaba was driving was surrounded by two police cars.
Cops did not release details about what led to the officer-involved shooting at this time. It is not known how many shots were fired.
This is the first fatal shooting carried out by Metropolitan Police this year, Inquest data shows.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said no “non-police issue firearm” was found after an extensive search.
Kaba’s family accused the police force of being “totally racist” as they demanded “answers and accountability” over his death.
“The family of Chris Kaba seek a homicide investigation into his death from the outset,” his family said in a statement. “We do not want any delay as has happened in other fatal shootings – otherwise we and the wider public can have no confidence that the police will be held to account.”
The IOPC met with Kaba’s grieving loved ones on Wednesday to update them on the investigation.
“We recognize that there is community concern following this incident and we appreciate that questions will remain around how Kaba tragically ended up being fatally shot following an attempted vehicle stop,” Sal Naseem, regional director of the watchdog, said in a statement.
“We are working hard to piece together all of the circumstances surrounding this incident and we want to reassure the community that these questions will be answered in due course, however, it will take some time before our investigation is able to uncover all of the facts.”
Kaba’s vehicle is now being used for forensic examination.
London’s Metropolitan Police issued a statement on Wednesday over Kaba’s death, saying it understands “the family and community want answers.”
“I would like to express my sincere condolences to the family and friends of the man who died and I recognize the devastating and lasting impact this tragic incident will have on them,” said commander Alexis Boon.
“I would like to reassure the community that the Met is cooperating fully with the Independent Office for Police Conduct as they carry out a thorough and independent investigation.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan took to Twitter Wednesday, saying his “thoughts remain with all those affected by this awful incident.”
“When anyone loses their life as a result of police force, it’s important it is properly & thoroughly investigated,” Khan tweeted.
“It’s right the IOPC are undertaking an investigation into the shooting of Chris Kaba, who we now have confirmation was unarmed.”