Who is Chris Kaba and why his fatal shooting led to protests by Met police

A review has been launched by the Home Secretary after a police marksman was charged with the murder of a 24-year-old Black man last year.

The death of Chris Kaba and the subsequent decision to charge the officer by the Crown Prosecution Service has led to questions being asked over protection for firearms officers.

The firearms officer charged with the 34-year-old’s murder appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

Here we explain, within legal restrictions, who Mr Kaba is, how he died and what will happen next.

Who is Chris Kaba and how did he die?

Mr Kaba was a 24-year-old Black man who was driving an Audi car in a residential street in Streatham Hill, in south east London, when he was shot in the head on September 5 last year, at around 10pm.

Mr Kaba was a construction work who also performed as a rapper under the alias Madix or Mad Itch.

His death resulted in protests in the Black community. Mr Kaba’s family led a rally with hundreds gathering outside the headquarters of the Met Police as they called for an investigation launched by The Independent Office for Police Conduct to be dealt with swiftly.

And in March this year, Mr Kaba’s mother Helen Lumuanganu again called for answers on who was responsible for the shooting as they pushed for a decision on criminal charges in the case.

Chris Kaba’s mother Helen Lumuanganu called for a swift conclusion to the investigation into her son’s death (PA)
Chris Kaba’s mother Helen Lumuanganu called for a swift conclusion to the investigation into her son’s death (PA)

Charging of the police marksman

On September 21, the Crown Prosecution said a firearms officer had been charged in connection with Mr Kaba’s death.

The unidentified officer, known as NX121, was charged following a review of evidence provided by the IOPC following its investigation.

Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division, said: “Following a thorough review of the evidence provided by the IOPC, the CPS has authorised a charge of murder against a Metropolitan Police officer following the death of Chris Kaba.

“Mr Kaba died after he was struck by a single bullet in Streatham Hill, south London. The CPS reminds all concerned that criminal proceedings against the officer are active and that he has the right to a fair trial.”

Court hearing and what happens next

The firearms officer charged with Mr Kaba’s murder appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. The officer’s barrister, Patrick Hill, was asked to confirm the defendant’s identity in court and the officer did not speak.

They later appeared at the Old Bailey for a second brief hearing to discuss bail. He answered “yes” when asked by the court clerk if he is NX121, and passed a piece of paper to court staff with his date of birth on it.

Recorder of London Mark Lucraft KC told the defendant that a plea and trial preparation hearing will be listed for December 1, with a possible trial date of September 9 next year.

A hearing will take place at the same court on Friday next week to discuss a legal order that bans the identification of the officer. NX121 was released on bail on the conditions that he lives at a named address, surrenders his passport and does not apply for international travel documents.