A judge has determined that the identity of the Metropolitan Police officer charged in connection with the fatal shooting of Chris Kaba will be disclosed to the public.
24-year-old Chris Kaba lost his life after being shot inside his car during a fast-moving police incident in Streatham Hill last year.
Previously referred to as NX121 to protect his identity, the officer’s name is slated for public release on January 30th of the upcoming year, as decreed by the Old Bailey this Monday.
The Recorder of London, Mark Lucraft KC, clarified that while the officer’s name and date of birth will be made public, any images, sketches, or his residential address will remain confidential.
Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist expressed concern regarding the court’s decision, stating, “The implication of this ruling, along with recent cases, resonates deeply within the armed policing community.”
He continued, “The Metropolitan Police endeavoured to support the anonymity hearing, furnishing factual evidence to Judge Lucraft to guide his judgment. While we respect the principles of open justice, we felt compelled to underscore the ramifications of breaching anonymity in this context.”
Chris Kaba was killed on September 5th last year when a bullet pierced the windshield of his car in Streatham Hill, south London. Kaba’s Audi had previously been connected to an incident involving a firearm on that same day. He was transported to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries on September 6th.
Highlighting the rarity of such incidents, Mr Twist noted: “London’s armed officers annually address roughly 4,000 armed incidents and partake in 800 strategic operations. They also confiscate numerous firearms. Yet, over the past two decades, firearm discharges at suspects have averaged two or fewer times annually. Our armed officers rarely resort to shooting.”
He further emphasised the voluntary nature of firearms duties, given the heightened risks. “It is essential that our accountability system is perceived as fair and protective, considering the specialiseds role our armed officers play. They play a pivotal part in safeguarding the public and their unarmed counterparts from significant threats.”
In light of this case, a notable number of firearms officers submitted their weapons last month. Others signalled they might follow suit if the officer’s anonymity was compromised.
A serving firearms officer confided to Sky News, “Losing anonymity would raise serious concerns. While I haven’t relinquished my firearm yet, I might do so under such circumstances, and many share this sentiment.”
The legal proceedings are progressing, with a plea and trial preparation hearing set for December 1st, and the trial expected to commence on September 9th of the following year.
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