Assistant Commissioner Amanda Pearson said: “Following the death of Chris Kaba, the firearms officer involved has been suspended from duty.
“This decision has been reached following careful consideration of a number of factors, including the significant impact on public confidence, and in light of the Independent Office for Police Conduct announcing a homicide investigation.
“Our thoughts and sympathies remain with Mr Kaba’s family and friends. We understand how concerned communities are, particularly Black communities, and thank those who are working closely with our local officers.
“We are actively supporting the IOPC investigation and would ask those with information that could be useful in establishing what happened to contact the IOPC directly to maintain the independence of their investigation.
Ms. Pearson went on to say:
“The decision to suspend the officer does not determine the outcome of the IOPC investigation. Firearms officers serve to protect the public and know that on the rare occasions when they discharge their weapons, they will face intense scrutiny. I know this development will have a significant impact on the officer and colleagues.”
Mr Kaba died after his vehicle was stopped by specialist firearms officers on the evening of Monday, 5 September in Streatham Hill. The vehicle was stopped following the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera which indicated the car had been linked to a firearms offence in the previous days.
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said he welcomed the decision and his "thoughts remain with Chris Kaba's loved ones at this intensely difficult time".
News of the suspension came as Chris Kaba's family and friends joined members of the local community in a vigil marking a week since his death
Chris Kaba’s family reveal they were not told of his death for 11 hours
The Cousin of the 24-year-old says officer who shot him in south London should have been suspended sooner
The family of Chris Kaba, have revealed that they only found out about his death 11 hours after it had happened.
Jefferson Bosela, is Chris Kaba’s cousin and spokesperson for the family. He spoke to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, revealing: “The family found out 11 hours [after he died], so his mum would have woken up and have gone to work not knowing that her son wasn’t alive anymore.”
The IOPC confirmed that no gun was found in the vehicle Kaba was driving, and that it had emerged that Kaba did not own the car, which was flagged as being linked to a firearms incident days earlier.
Hundreds of people marched on parliament in central London on Saturday demanding justice for Kaba. Kaba’s family members were joined by supporters and high profile figures including the rapper Stormzy and several MPs including Labour’s Bell Ribeiro-Addy and Diane Abbott.
Bosela said the family welcomed the decision to suspend the officer, but added that the IOPC had been too slow to act.
Bosela added: “[The IOPC] have been extremely vague throughout the whole investigation, in terms of just very simple details … and when it comes to them explaining how long the investigation will take, they have been just as vague. They’re not really being helpful, and I think that has definitely caused a lot of upset not just for the family, but for the local community as well.”
Kaba’s family had many unanswered questions about his death, including whether the car had been searched during the incident.
Bosela added: “The matter is whether Chris was unlawfully killed by a police officer. There’s no evidence that the car was linked to firearms because I’ve heard of people who have been stopped by the police and their vehicles were linked to firearms and they came out alive. So the question is: what went on in that night that led up to him being killed?”