Jermaine Baker: Met Officer suspended after fatal shooting


The Metropolitan Police have taken, what seems an unprecedented step and suspended one of its officers after the fatal shooting of Jermaine Baker from Tottenham, North London.

Baker was shot and killed by a single bullet during a special police operation that was tipped off about a prison break of two prisoners who were due to attend Wood Green Crown Court.

Given what occurred in the same area in Aug 2011 after the death of Mark Duggan, it appears that the police have enough concern to call in The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to investigate a ‘criminal homicide into his Baker’s death. This would be the first phase in which the police officer could face murder or manslaughter charges.

IPCC said the deceased man's family had been informed of his death but no formal identification had yet taken place.

Commissioner Cindy Butts said:

"I give my assurances that a thorough, independent investigation into the circumstances is under way. My thoughts are with all of those affected by events."

That the police have at times a very difficult job is not disputed, what is important though, particularly when something as tragic as a death  occurs like this is that both the police and the associated authorities be open, transparent and honest if mistakes have been made. On the surface at least it seems that the police have learnt from the procedural mistakes that led to lies and misinformation about Duggan’s death, although the police had to be corrected when they suggested Baker was part of the 'Tottenham MadDem Crew which was the same gang Duggan belonged to.  Let’s hope that this time, from top to bottom within the police force  and the IPPC openness to the facts are writ large.

Our experience, mind, means we won't hold our breath.

Simon Woolley