UK police officer appears in court over Black man’s death

LONDON (Reuters) – A serving British police officer appeared in a London court on Thursday charged with murder over the death of a Black man who was shot during an incident in south London a year ago.

Chris Kaba, 24, who was unarmed, died after his car was stopped by police firearms specialists in Streatham Hill on Sept. 5 last year and was then hit by a single bullet.

His death led to large protests and anger among the capital’s Black community.

The unnamed officer, identified only as NX121, appeared at London’s Old Bailey court on Thursday afternoon, wearing a grey suit, white shirt and blue facemask in the dock.

He was not asked to enter a plea to the charge and Judge Mark Lucraft granted the officer bail ahead of a plea hearing on Dec. 1. NX121 is expected to stand trial in September 2024.

Members of Kaba’s family sat in court during the brief hearing. A statement previously issued on their behalf said the family “await the trial of the firearms officer without delay and hope and pray that justice will be served”.

(Reporting by Sam Tobin, Editing by Michael Holden)