A firearms officer has been suspended after Chris Kaba was shot dead whilst driving a car that had been flagged by number plate recognition cameras. He was unarmed. His case will be the first challenge for the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner.
â€śWhat do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!â€ť
As mourners gathered outside Buckingham Palace to remember the Queen, another crowd gathered nearby â€“ in Londonâ€™s Trafalgar Square.
â€śChris matters! Chris matters! When I say Black lives, you say matter! Black lives matter! Black lives matter! When I say Chris, you say mattersâ€¦â€ť
They were protesting about the death of Chris Kaba, a 24-year-old Black man who was shot by a Metropolitan police officer in South London.Â
On the 5th of September, an automatic number-plate recognition camera flagged the car Chris Kaba was driving, because it was linked to a recent firearms offence.Â
A chase followed, and an armed police officer eventually fired a single shot through the driverâ€™s seat window. Chris Kaba died in hospital.Â
It later emerged that he was unarmed, and his family want answers
â€śWe are shocked to see that in this century, from a specialist of the law like the police can shortcut someoneâ€™s life, especially a young boy. From all the questions we have, why this, why that, no one can give any justification. For us is totally racist and criminal.â€ťChris Kabaâ€™s parents speaking to BBC News
Chris Kabaâ€™s death comes at a sensitive time for the Metropolitan police.
â€śIn the last couple of years, officers were jailed for sharing photographs of the murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. A serving officer, Wayne Couzens, was jailed for Sarah Everardâ€™s murder. A unit based at Charing Cross police station were found to be sharing racist, misogynistic and homophobic messages. And a report found that the Met had been institutionally corrupt in their handling of the Daniel Morgan murder case.â€ťChannel 4
After all that, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick quit in February.
Her replacement, Sir Mark Rowley, began his new role this week. In April, he spoke to the BBC about the challenges facing the Met.
â€śTrust has obviously taken a big, big hit in policing, and some of the data shows that. Itâ€™s not vanished to zero; thereâ€™s still a large residual baseline of trust in British policing, but I think there are some big warning signs. There are so many challenges. I think the pace of modern life, modern expectationsâ€¦ I think policingâ€™s dropped off the pace a bit and itâ€™s gonna take some quite dramatic solutions to catch up with those expectations. And some of those are for the police alone, and some of those are for police and others.â€ťSir Mark Rowley, BBC News
Sir Mark RowleyÂ wants â€śmore trust, less crime and high standardsâ€ť in the force.Â
Chris Kabaâ€™s case will no doubt be a test. The Independent Office for Police Conduct, or IOPC, has been investigating the incident that led to his death.Â
They say they canâ€™t release details of Chris Kabaâ€™s previous firearms offence, as that case is still under investigation.Â
But the IOPC has also been looking into the policeâ€™s handling of the incident.
â€śThere came one announcement after the next: first, that Mr Kaba was unarmed. Then, the police watchdog launched a homicide investigation. And the officer in question has been removed from operational duties, having been handed a criminal and gross misconduct notice.â€ťChannel 4
A homicide investigation isnâ€™t proof of guilt, but Chris Kabaâ€™s family â€“ and the protestorsÂ â€“ have expressed frustration that it took the police a week to suspend the officer involved.
â€śAny other job, if youâ€™re under a criminal investigation, you should be suspended immediately. You know, it shouldnâ€™t be two days, three days, it should be immediate. So we welcome the decision.â€ťChannel 4
A handful of people die following police contact every year â€“ that can be anything from car accidents during chases, to fatal taserings or shootings. But in the past three decades, only one police officer has been sentenced for manslaughter after a shooting.Â
The outcome of this case remains to be seen. Police misconduct hearings are notoriously slow, and investigations can take years.Â
The new Commissioner is under pressure to restore public trust in a force thatâ€™s in special measures.Â
For Chris Kabaâ€™s family it may be too late.
Todayâ€™s episode was written and mixed by Patricia Clarke.