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Statement from Anna Freud Centre on the shooting and death of Chris Kaba

The past fortnight has been a distressing time for many, with the news that an unarmed man, Chris Kaba, was shot and killed by a Metropolitan Police officer in South London on Monday 5 September.

Chris Kaba’s shooting and death has been under-reported in mainstream media, but this news will have reached many people and had a significant impact on them.

Peter Fonagy, Chief Executive of the Anna Freud Centre, said:

“The shooting and death of Chris Kaba has been deeply distressing for many people in our communities. We particularly acknowledge the profound effect this has had on children, young people, their families and many of the professionals who support them. The continued uncertainty, as the investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct is carried out, is likely to add to many people’s distress. Therefore, we call for a thorough and transparent investigation that is adequately resourced, so that it may be concluded sooner than the six to nine months currently indicated.

“We are pleased to hear the Independent Office for Police Conduct has also confirmed they will be investigating whether Chris Kaba’s race influenced the actions taken by police. Through our work we have seen the deep impact systemic racism and bias has on Black and Brown children, young people and families. At the Anna Freud Centre we remain committed to supporting the work of the Black Lives Matter movement and hold in our hearts and minds the lives lost due to systemic racism and bias. We are also committed to helping create a future where all children and young people are supported in their mental health and wellbeing, and this begins with their safety and protection.

“We encourage everyone to use their own agency to take time to reflect and learn, so that we can change ourselves as individuals and help change the world around us. As an organisation, we are taking steps to understand the experiences of the communities we serve. We are also working to address the social injustices and inequalities these communities face, in recognition of the impact this has on the lives and mental health of children, young people and families.”