The Metropolitan Police under fire
On September 5th, 2022, a £27,000 Audi being driven in Streatham Hill flashed up on the police Automatic Number Plate Recognition computer, it was associated with carrying firearms. The police pursued the vehicle and cornered the suspect. The occupant, Christopher Kaba, rammed the police cars in the hope to escape, but he was brought to a standstill. The police asked him to get out of the car twelve times. A police marksman fired one shot through the driver’s window, fatally wounding him. No gun was found at the scene.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) immediately launched a homicide investigation and the police officer suspended from duty.
The death of Chris Kaba, who was soon to be a father was a rapper known as Madix or Mad Itch with the drill Group 67, saw a backlash from the black and left communities. In what appears to be Kaba, in a video, he allegedly seems to be celebrating gang culture where he, “brings his kitchen” to “kill, kill, scratch, scratch,” while waving an imaginary knife.
Diane Abbott, Stormzy, and Streatham Labour MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy were at the protest at Scotland Yard on the following Saturday in London. Placards read “Justice for Chris Kaba” and “Abolish the Met.” Protesters also chanted “no justice, no peace” and “police are the murderers.”
Musician Stormzy said, “Chris has a mother, he has a family, he has brothers, he has friends, people who knew him in real life, who for them it’s unbearable.” Some others on social media were allegedly inciting violence against the police.
Certainly, it is hard to underestimate the anger of black people at the police for the killing at a time when the metropolitan Police are in “special measures” and confidence, from their point of view, is at an all time low.
The police have been quick to apologise. Commander Alexis Boon said, “I would like to offer my heartfelt condolences to the family of Chris Kaba – The Metropolitan Police is co-operating fully with the independent Investigation by the IOPC.”
Awkward videos aside, Kaba was convicted of carrying a gun in 2019 for which he was jailed for four years. He had only been released six months earlier. Members of his Group 67, based loosely out of Brixton Hill from 2012 have long criminal records for County Lines drug dealing and possession of knives. Ten were jailed between 2018 and 2019 for selling drugs.
There is no suggestion Kaba was directly involved in drug dealing activities.
Despite his family missing one of their own, other reaction has not been so sympathetic. Many feel that if he had complied with the police, he would still be alive today. Some were a lot blunter. Black “social commentator” Michael Morgan observed, “I’m getting a lot of ‘he deserved it he was a criminal’ on my timeline. As #ChrisKaba’s family rightly say his past didn’t give police the right to kill him.”
Nevertheless, support from the black community was not universal. Black Opinion on Twitter wrote, “Some of using the black community are abject hypocrites. We make noise for known criminals that terrorise our community when they are shot by police. Silence when those same criminals are stabbing other black youngsters.”
Lorraine C Campbell who claims to work in an administrative role for the police replied, “My sentiments entirely. I am a black female who is proud to have worked for the Met since I was a youngster. Certain black MPs are happy to put out anti-police rhetoric whilst failing to acknowledge black criminality.”
Rank and file police officers were deeply unhappy at the suspension of the officer. Many have threatened to hand in their weapons after the Queens funeral. If they did the capital would be in a particularly high level of danger. The Metropolitan Police Federation tweeted, “Being a firearms officer in London is one of the world’s toughest jobs. Officers – volunteers – know the responsibility/accountability that comes with it and deserve our support. Ill-informed commentary from those in positions of power following any tragic incident is unwarranted.
The Metropolitan Police Federation is supporting a brave firearms colleague involved in a recent incident in South London – and we are also supporting their family. Our thoughts are with all affected.”
Chris Kaba may have been the architect of his own downfall, but he did not deserve to die. However, the case raises serious questions about inner city communities. Far too many are involved in criminal activities, far too many come from fatherless homes with no ambitions other than drug dealing and being a rap performer. The numbers are stark. Black people make up 13% of London’s population, and account for 45% of London’s knife murder victims, 61% of knife murder perpetrators and 53% of knife crime perpetrators. The police are damned if they do and damned if they do not.
The country needs a frank, no holds barred conversation on the future of Britain on crime and immigration. If not, the body count will click through to unimaginable numbers, especially of our young, innocent people.