Thousands march after police kill unarmed black man in London

by Julija Rusevica, Lambeth and South West London Socialist Party

People gathered at Parliament Square, in London, on 10 September to demand justice for Chris Kaba, who was shot and killed by the Metropolitan Police on Monday 5 September in South London.

Chris Kaba was a 24-year-old black rapper, soon to be a father, and he died after a single shot fired by a police officer.

Chris Kaba vigil
Chris Kaba vigil.
Photo: Paul Mattsson

Police were trying to stop the vehicle he was driving; an automatic number plate recognition camera indicated that this car was linked to a firearm incident in previous days. The car wasn’t registered to Chris, who was unarmed.

The police executed this man on the streets of London. It is a tragedy, and there seemed to be no proper immediate response from the Met and the state.

Soon, all the news platforms were mourning Queen Elizabeth II. We heard little about the police killing of a black man.

The protest was organised in less than 24 hours. Family and friends of Chris, and thousands of other people, marched to New Scotland Yard to show that we will not stand aside and let police sweep the murder they’ve committed under a rug. The family says: “We are devastated; we need answers, and we need accountability; we are worried that if Chris had not been black, he would have been arrested on Monday and not had his life cut short.”

During the protest, three main demands were raised: confirmation that the officer has been suspended; a time frame for the Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation; the release of bodycam footage to the family.

On Monday 12 September, Met Police suspended the officer who shot Chris. But the fight is far from over, and we must keep pushing. This is not one ‘accidental death’, it is a result of the power of a systematically racist and violent police force. Since 1990 there have been 1,883 deaths in police custody or following police contact, and there have been almost no prosecutions of the officers who have committed these murders.

This system cannot deliver us justice. It protects its murderers and people know it. More and more people see that police are not there to protect us, but instead to oppress us. We need radical change now!

Once again, we see that police brutality is not just an ‘American problem’ and the Black Lives Matter movement didn’t stop in 2020. The fight against brutality, prejudice and racism is everywhere, in Britain too. We are not safe until everyone is safe! There is no justice until there is justice for everyone!

Socialist Party fights for:

  • Independent workers’ and community inquiries into police violence
  • End police brutality. Demilitarisation of the police — stop the use of horses, tear gas and rubber bullets.
  • Abolish the Territorial Support Group (TSG) and all similar paramilitary units
  • Democratic control of policing by trade unions and communities, including with powers to fire and hire officers
  • Build a mass movement to smash racism. Build a socialist alternative to inequality and division