Shot dead in ‘planned’ police operation
from various sources – May 2017
contributions by – Kelly Averill
Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
Jermaine Baker, aged 28, a father-of-two from Tottenham, north London, was killed by a single shot to the neck from a police officer on the 11 December 2015 during a police operation near Wood Green Crown Court.
The shooting led to the officer being suspended and a homicide investigation launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). A statement from Scotland Yard read: “The Metropolitan Police Service has been in dialogue with the Independent Police Complaints Commission regarding the change in status of their investigation into the death of Mr Jermaine Baker. We have agreed to their suggestion that a firearms officer be suspended.”
The officer who fired the shot was not been named. However, he was arrested and interviewed under caution.
Friends of Jermaine said they were shocked and confused by what had happened, and were still coming to terms with his death. “I just started crying,’ his childhood friend Charlotte Asar, 26, told The Metro. “I couldn’t believe it. I was surprised how emotional I was, but I was absolutely devastated.”
Jermaine’s family were upset by media allegations that he had gang links, which also caused disquiet in within the wider Tottenham community. It later emerged that The Metropolitan police had no evidence or credible intelligence that he was previously involved in gang-related crime.
A source with close knowledge of anti-gang efforts in the area said: “Our records do not show he was involved in gang activity.”
At the time of the incident Jermaine was sitting in the front passenger seat of the car 100 yards away from Wood Green Crown Court. Police intelligence suggested that he and other accomplices were attempting to break out a prisoner (named as Izzet Eren) from a custody van transporting prisoners to Wood Green Crown Court.
Five men, including the two in the car who survived the police shooting, were later convicted of an attempt to break a criminal out of a prison van. Two of them were also been charged with possessing an imitation firearm.
Jermaine lived in an area of Tottenham that had seen increasing tensions in relations between the police and the black community. The killing sent social media into a frenzy with many commentators drawing similarities between the manner of Jermaine’s death and that of Mark Duggan’s, who was fatally shot by a police officer in 2011.
In October 2016 the family of Jermaine accused the IPCC of betraying them and failing to hold the Metropolitan police to account over the shooting. Margaret Smith, 48, Jermaine’s mother, said that initially she and other family members were building a relationship with the IPCC but that had been severely damaged. “The IPCC has failed me and my family,” she said.
The concerns about the IPCC stemmed from issues regarding the commanding officer in the police operation that led to Jermaine being shot dead. The Met tactical firearms commander, known as FE16, who was facing an IPCC allegation of gross misconduct in relation to his briefing of the firearms officers in the operation, retired from the police. As a result, he will avoid the possibility of disciplinary proceedings and sanction for any part his alleged failings may have played in Jermaine’s death.
A legal bid by his family in the name of his four-year-old daughter to stop the officer – known as “officer FE16” retiring failed and a High Court judge ruled he was free to leave.
In November 2016 it was reported that the police officer who fatally shot Jermaine may face criminal charges following an investigation by the independent police watchdog. The IPCC referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service after uncovering evidence that could point toward a criminal offence.
An inquest into Jermaine’s death was opened and adjourned, in December 2015, to allow the IPCC investigation to proceed.
The Coroner, Andrew Walker, opened the inquest addressing members of Jermaine’s family, saying; “Can I offer my deepest sympathies to the family. This is the first part of the coroner’s involvement in this matter. We are today going to hear evidence and then open the inquest.”
“The inquest in these circumstances will be to look at the sequence of events that led to the case of death and the circumstances in which it occurred.”
Catherine Hall of the IPCC also confirmed to the inquest that claims that Jermaine was asleep when he was killed will form part of their probe.
During the hearing it also emerged that the suspended officer asked for a second post mortem examination to take place.
Met officer may face charges over Jermaine Baker shooting death
25 November 2016
Jermaine Baker shooting: IPCC ‘failed to hold Met to account’
14 October 2016
High Court rules Jermaine Baker police officer can retire
4 October 2016