Family of man shot by police last year face ‘agonising’ wait for charge decision

Relatives of a man who was shot dead by police one year ago say the wait to hear whether the officer involved will face criminal charges is agonising.

The family of Chris Kaba has accused the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) of a lack of urgency in making a decision over the case.

Prosecutors have had the file of evidence, put together by watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct, since March.

On Tuesday, in a statement to mark one year since Mr Kaba died, his family said: “We demand a charging decision without further delay. Throughout the last year there has been a lack of urgency.

“Our family, alongside the community who have supported us over the past year, have been consistent in our call for accountability.

“We believe that it was possible within six months of Chris being killed both for the IOPC to complete a well-resourced and effective criminal investigation and for the CPS to provide us with a charging decision.”

Chris Kaba’s cousin Jefferson Bosela spoke outside the first inquest hearing into his death last year, alongside Chris’s parents Prosper Kaba (left) and Helen Lumuanganu.
Chris Kaba’s cousin Jefferson Bosela spoke outside the first inquest hearing into his death last year, alongside Chris’s parents Prosper Kaba (left) and Helen Lumuanganu (Victoria Jones/PA)

Mr Kaba was killed in Streatham Hill, south-east London, after the car he was driving was followed by an unmarked police car with no lights or sirens.

He then turned into Kirkstall Gardens, a narrow residential street, where he was blocked by a marked police car, the two vehicles collided and a marksman fired one shot through the windscreen, hitting Mr Kaba in the head.

It later emerged that the Audi the 24-year-old was driving, which did not belong to him, had been linked by police to a firearms incident the previous day.

Construction worker Mr Kaba was months away from becoming a father when he died.

His family are holding a protest starting at midday outside New Scotland Yard on Saturday to demand answers.

Police tape across a residential street, with cars parked on both sides.
A police cordon in Kirkstall Gardens, Streatham Hill, south London, after Mr Kaba was shot last year (Andrew Quinn/PA)

Deborah Coles, director of the charity Inquest that supports bereaved families, said: “It is simply unacceptable we do not yet have a charging decision.

“This exacerbates the family’s trauma and grieving process.”

Lawyer Daniel Machover, of Hickman and Rose – who represent the family, said: “I am appalled that, after the IOPC took almost seven months to complete its investigation, the CPS has failed to complete its task within a further five months.

“In what other comparable suspected homicide case involving firearms discharged by a civilian does the CPS consider it appropriate to take so long to make a charging decision?”

The CPS said it does not provide timescales for charging decisions.

A spokeswoman said: “We are carefully considering the file of evidence to determine whether criminal charges should be brought in relation to the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba.

“As always, we will make that decision independently, based on the evidence and in line with our legal test.”

According to Inquest, since 1990 there have been 1,869 deaths in or following police custody in England and Wales.

There has only been one conviction of a police officer in that time – West Mercia Police Constable Benjamin Monk who was jailed in 2021 for the manslaughter of former footballer Dalian Atkinson.

Mr Atkinson was tasered to the ground and kicked in the head in 2016.