Police firearms officer charged with Chris Kaba murder named for the first time

UK

The police marksman charged with murdering Chris Kaba can be named for the first time after a judge lifted an anonymity order.

Metropolitan Police firearms officer Martyn Blake, 40, is facing trial later this year over the fatal shooting of the 24-year-old in Streatham Hill, south London, on 6 September 2022.

He was charged with murder in September last year, but has until now been known as NX121 because his identity was protected by an anonymity order.

Blake appeared in the dock at the Old Bailey today to plead not guilty to the charge.

Judge Mark Lucraft KC ruled his name and date of birth could be reported as doing so posed no immediate risk to the life of the officer or his family, although his home address or any image of him cannot be published.

The order was lifted at today’s hearing, where Blake was asked to confirm his name and date of birth.

He is due to face trial on 2 October.

On the day of the shooting, Mr Kaba was driving an Audi that did not belong to him, and turned into Kirstall Gardens where he collided with a marked police car, before he was shot through the windscreen.

Members of his family were in court.

The Metropolitan Police Federation said “the colleagues we represent are hugely shocked, saddened and concerned over the decision to name the firearms officer involved in this incident”.

SO Secretary Rick Prior said: “We still await the results of the Home Office’s ‘accountability review’ into operational policing but it goes without saying that our police officers must have full confidence that they have the protection needed to do this difficult and dangerous job society expects of them.

“Being a firearms officer in London is one of the world’s toughest jobs. Officers, who volunteer for the role, know the responsibility and accountability that comes with it. It is a job like no other and they need fairness when it comes to scrutiny.

“As a Federation, we can reassure our members that we continue to support the officer and his family at this difficult time; and will work to mitigate any risks this decision from the courts might bring.

“We also continue to provide support to those brave colleagues who willingly undertake this challenging firearms role every day to keep Londoners safe.”

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