The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) in the UK has charged an acting police officer with murder in connection with the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba, a Black man, on September 6, 2022. The officer, whose name remains anonymous for legal reasons, allegedly shot and killed Kaba with a single bullet in south London.
The decision to charge the officer came after a thorough review of evidence conducted by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), according to Rosemary Ainslie, head of the CPS Special Crime Division. The announcement of the charges on Wednesday emphasized that no reporting, commentary, or sharing of information that could prejudice the proceedings against the officer should occur.
The trial against the officer is set to begin at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday. The charges come after local MP Bell Ribeiro-Addy had previously campaigned for a CPS investigation into the police officer’s actions. Ribeiro-Addy highlighted the high number of deaths in state custody in England and Wales, with only one resulting in a conviction.
This development follows a report by UK non-profit group INQUEST, which revealed that Black men are seven times more likely to die following the use of restraint by police compared to white men. The report specifically mentioned the recent deaths of three Black men, including Chris Kaba. INQUEST also pointed out a tendency among investigators to accept officers’ denial that race played a part in their actions.