Chris Kaba and Oladeji Omishore’s families are asking the UN to investigate their police deaths

The family of a British drill rapper who was killed by local police are asking the United Nations, the world’s intergovernmental organization for security and peace, to step in and help them find answers. They believe the police have dropped the investigation into his death and are now linking his untimely demise to a global conversation about “police brutality” and racism.

On Friday September 23, in a press release issued by charity Inquest, the family reiterated their “ongoing concerns about the circumstances” surrounding the death of Chris Kaba on September 5 in Streatham Hill, south London, where fatally shot him in the head by police while the 24-year-old sat in a parked blue Audi.

Kaba’s cousin Jefferson Bosela shared that the family is not only frustrated by the investigation into their loved one’s death, but also by the way the media is reporting his death.

“It is extremely upsetting to read offensive allegations in the media about Chris’ past. We have no idea if the claims are accurate, but we don’t see how they are relevant to the police decision to shoot Chris,” Bosela said. “Everyone in this country has the right to go about their business without fear of being killed by the police.”

He continued, saying, “Media speculation about his past detracts from what needs to be a priority, which is to establish exactly how and why he was killed.”

To sidestep some of the “distraction” caused by news of his death and the death of another black Briton, Oladeji Omishore, who jumped to his death from Chelsea Bridge in west London after being hit by officers with Tasers had been fired upon, a request was made to the United Nations.

Omishore, a man with a manic episode related to his diagnosis of schizophrenia, died in June after an altercation with police.

Officers thought he had a screwdriver and used it as a weapon against the Metropolitan Police. However, it later turned out that the object in his hand was actually lighter.

The Kaba and Omishore families have petitioned the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights to investigate the case of the 24-year-old rising star and the 41-year-old, who is going through a manic episode, according to The Guardian.

In the past, the Commission has reviewed and investigated “police brutality and law enforcement human rights abuses against Africans and people of African descent” in various countries, and in June 2020 began investigating systemic racism against black people.

A year after the organization began its comprehensive study of racial discrimination, it found that many nations, including Britain, have serious problems with racism in law enforcement. One of the cases cited in the inquiry involved Kevin Clarke, a man of African descent who suffered from schizophrenia and died in 2018 after being taken into custody by police in south-east London.

The report certainly added to the urgency of his case’s retrial in August 2021. In that investigation, the Independent Bureau of Policing Conduct examined footage of the incident and showed the man telling up to nine Met officers who were holding him down that he couldn’t breathe.

It was later determined that the restraint used on Clarke was improper and contributed to his death. While other cruel and unusual punishments were meted out to the man, including walking to an ambulance with his knees bound and barely conscious, the IOPC said one more thing was uncovered when it looked back at the case The Met broke regulations by conducting misconduct proceedings without notifying Clarke’s family or the IOPC.

The International Monitoring Committee added that this is an example of the “impunity” enjoyed by police officers in the countries mentioned in the report who violate the human rights of black people.

As a result, OHCHR will continue to analyze and “monitor” “progress on accountability and redress for systemic racism.”

“There are valid concerns about the police’s immediate use of deadly force and racial stereotypes that equate black men with dangerousness and crime,” said Deborah Coles, the director of the investigation.

She continued, “Time and time again we see the person who died being demonized to divert attention from police behavior and important issues of police accountability to the rule of law.”

Omishore’s family also released a statement about the slow process of justice for their beloved son.

“We are extremely frustrated by the decision of the Independent Bureau of Policing Conduct to continue to treat the officers involved as witnesses and not to initiate conduct or criminal investigations into what we consider to be disproportionate and excessive use of force,” the statement said. “We firmly believe that this power led to Deji’s untimely and avoidable death.”

Their stance is clear and since June has read: “There has been no apparent risk assessment or effort to de-escalate the situation in accordance with their police guidelines. Deji was clearly in distress and going through a mental crisis. We firmly believe that the officers’ actions were unlawful and a very sad reminder of how black people are treated in police contact.” Chris Kaba and Oladeji Omishore’s families are asking the UN to investigate their police deaths

James Brien

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