London police officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

A police officer from Britain's London Metropolitan Police force has been indicted for murder over the fatal shooting of 24-year-old Chris Kaba.

London police officer charged with murder in fatal shooting of unarmed black man

An officer with London's Metropolitan Police force who fatally shot an unarmed Black man has been charged with murder, prosecutors said Wednesday.

Chris Kaba, 24, was killed in south London on Sept. 5 last year, after police pursued his car and tried to stop it. His vehicle was hemmed in by two police cars in a narrow residential street in the Streatham Hill neighborhood. Police fired one round at Kaba, who was shot through the windscreen of the car he was driving.

Rosemary Ainslie, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said that following a thorough review of evidence, a charge of murder was authorized against the police officer, who remains unnamed.

Kaba died after he was struck by a single bullet, she said.

The police officer was suspended from duty following the incident and is expected to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

The case has sparked outcry and criticisms of institutional racism in the police force. Kaba's family welcomed Wednesday's development, and said they hoped that any trial can take place without delay.

Kaba was being followed by an unmarked police car with no lights or sirens on the day he died. He was driving an Audi that did not belong to him.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigated the case, said the shooting came after the activation of an automatic number plate recognition camera, which indicated that the vehicle Kaba was driving was linked to a firearms incident in previous days.

It is rare for police officers in the U.K. to be charged with murder or manslaughter.

In 2021, a police constable was sentenced to eight years in prison for the killing of Dalian Atkinson, a former professional soccer player who died after being shot by a stun gun and kicked in the head during an altercation. The policeman, Benjamin Monk, was cleared of murder but convicted of manslaughter.