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Chris Kaba

Chris Kaba. Photo: Family Handout

The killing of Chris Kaba is yet another reminder of the inherent racism in the Metropolitan Police and why we must fight for justice, writes Lucy Nichols

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police killed a 24-year-old black man, Chris Kaba. The IOPC has confirmed that Kaba was unarmed when the police shot him through his car window in a residential street in Streatham after a brief police chase.

Chris Kaba’s family have called for an independent inquiry into the killing, and believe that the police were racist in the targeting of the 24-year-old, who was soon to become a father.

The officers that shot Chris Kaba came to the conclusion that he was armed and dangerous, with very little evidence to back this assumption up.

Chris Kaba is the second man that the police have killed in less than three months, after Oladeji Adeyemi Omishore died in the River Thames after being tasered. Both Omishore and Kaba were unarmed, both were black. Over 200 people from ethnic minority backgrounds have died in police custody or following police contact since 1990.

In London, black people are four times more likely to be targeted by police than white people. In the UK as a whole, you are nine times more likely to be stopped and searched by police if you are black than if you are white. Black people are 18 times more likely to be stopped and searched under the controversial Section 60 which allows the police to stop and search a person without suspicion.

The murder of Chris Kaba is deeply tragic and deeply unjust. It is very easy to assume that he would never have been targeted in the first place if he were white, let alone shot dead.

His murder demonstrates the racism that proliferates through police forces across the UK, a racism that is systemic, violent and embedded in the British state.

While defence for the police will ring out from the usual quarters and attempts will be made to cast doubts on the innocence of the victim, most people can see through the lies. We remember the claim that Mark Duggan was armed, that Oladeji Omishore was carrying a screwdriver, and every time the police have lied to try justify their actions.

Kaba's death at the hands of the police follows a consistent trend of black people simply not being safe with the police and it once again raises the question of the role of the police in society.

The simple fact is that the police do not protect or serve us – they exist solely in order to protect the interests of the state. A state that is currently being run by a very cruel, very right-wing Tory government with Liz Truss at the helm.

The British state does not care about the lives of ordinary people. Where it does not actively murder people, it allows them to die of hunger, gross negligence, or Covid.

From Stephen Lawrence and Jean Charles de Menezes to Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman. From Hillsborough and Aberfan to Windrush and Grenfell, the state is not interested in justice.

The best we can expect from the Metropolitan Police is a feeble apology and some empty promise to learn from their mistakes. Justice must be demanded, and change must be fought for.

In order for this to happen we must take to the streets as a united front to show the police, and the entire British establishment, that it will no longer get away with its virulent racism, and it will no longer be allowed to murder its citizens.

Join the protest outside the Brixton Ritzy at 3pm today (Thursday).

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