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 areas 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.
She added: “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 also 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.
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 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.