In a statement issued via inquest.org Chris Kaba’s family have responded to various media reports. The statement reads as follows:
Following public speculation and reports on alleged offences relating to Chris Kaba, the family would like to reiterate their continued concerns about the circumstances of his death and the importance of this focus.
Jefferson Bosela, cousin of Chris Kaba, said: “It is extremely distressing to read offensive media allegations about Chris’ past. We have no idea whether the claims are correct, but we can’t see how they are relevant to the police’s decision to shoot Chris dead.
Everyone in this country has the right to go about their business without fear of being killed by the police.
There are very limited circumstances in which the police can use force. When a person is killed as a result of that use of force, their death must be fully and properly investigated, no matter what the people involved may – or may not have – done in their past.
Chris was a loving son, caring brother, excited father-to-be and a young man with so much potential. His family and friends will always remember him that way.
Media speculation about his past is a distraction from what must be the priority, which is establishing precisely how and why he was killed.”
Deborah Coles, Director of the charity INQUEST, said: “There is a long history of the authorities and sections of the media attempting to demonise the dead. This is an attempt to detract from legitimate public concern about police use of lethal force against a Black man.
Police cannot be judge, jury and executioner. They must be accountable to the rule of law. We must continue to focus on the fundamental question of how and why an unarmed Black man can be shot dead on the streets by police.”
Daniel Machover of Hickman & Rose solicitors, who represent the family, said: “It is vital for a safe and just society that the police are held fully accountable in law whenever they use lethal force. This remains true regardless of what anyone involved may – or may not – have done in the past. The Kaba family remains resolute in its determination to establish precisely how and why Chris came to be shot. Speculation about Chris’ past is an unnecessary distraction from this priority.”