Chris was an unarmed Black man fatally shot by a Met police officer on 5 September.
Chris’ family have described the shooting as ‘totally racist’ and that the suspension of the police officer was too slow. A Black Lives Matter spokesperson stated ‘we need immediate answers about why lethal force was employed on an unarmed Black man.’ We must not assume that racism and violence from police is a purely US phenomenon.
Data on police behaviour
The Metropolitan police are 4 times more likely to use force against Black people than white people. Data on the Metropolitan police’s ‘stop and search’ activity shows that there were 7.5 stop and searches for every 1,000 white people, compared with 52.6 for every 1,000 Black people. Together, we can see that in the UK that Black people are more likely to have an interaction with the police and more likely for this to involve physical force or violence. This disproportionate experience is not new, and is something many Black people have bedded into their day-to-day lives from how the are taught as children to interact with the police.
Justice for Chris Kaba
Chris Kaba’s family deserve justice. The police must be held accountable for the way Black people are treated by this system and the devastating consequences this can have.This is an important story we must ensure is not lost in the news cycle. Downing Street refused to comment because of the national mourning period, and Sky News misreported a protest march for Chris as a tribute march for the Queen.
Beyond the investigation outcome
This is part of a bigger picture of ongoing racial trauma for the Black community. It’s important to support our colleagues consistently, and especially during times like these where members of the Black community in particular will likely be experiencing a range of challenging emotions in response to this act.
Support your employees and teams by:
• Empowering leaders and managers to acknowledge the difficulty of this situation. It’s important to respond with compassion, authenticity, and humility.
• Emphasising the importance of true allyship that is driven by action all year round, not just performative.
• Encouraging employees to make use of mental health benefits. If these don’t exist, add them or signpost to resources such as Mind.