Jermaine Baker: Met officer to face misconduct hearing eight years after fatal shooting

Jermaine Baker  (PA Media)
Jermaine Baker (PA Media)

A police marksman who shot dead a man more than seven years ago will face a misconduct hearing “at the earliest opportunity”, the Metropolitan Police said.

Jermaine Baker, 28, was shot during an attempt to free prisoners from a van in Wood Green.

The marksman who shot him in December 2015, known publicly as W80, was investigated for murder but not charged.

However, the Independent Office for Police Conduct later said that he should face gross misconduct proceedings.

On Monday, the Metropolitan Police confirmed that the hearing will take place at "the earliest opportunity". However, they rejected the watchdog’s recommendation that another police force run the proceedings.

Instead, a member of the hearing panel - to be chaired by an independent lawyer - will be from another force.

The Met said: “Given these events took place eight years ago and the ongoing process of investigation and inquiry has had a significant impact on all concerned, it is in everyone’s interests we proceed to the misconduct hearing and conclude this matter at the earliest opportunity.

“We have also considered the IOPC request that we ask another force to hold the hearing.

“Our position remains that we do not accept the Met’s objections to the IOPC’s earlier direction to hold a gross misconduct hearing, or our wider call for support and legal reassurance for armed officers, impinges upon our independence, nor the impartiality of the misconduct hearing process.

“The hearing arrangements for W80 will be made by the Met. However, the police panel member will be from another force and the hearing led by an independent legally qualified chair.

“Arrangements are now being made for the hearing to proceed as soon as possible.”

It said the length of time being taken to resolve the case, in part due to the legal battle involving the force, shows the need for a Government review of how firearms officers are held to account when they kill someone.

Mr Baker’s mother Margaret Smith backed the IOPC’s call for another force to hold the misconduct hearing because the Met was involved in the legal battle to stop it from taking place.

An IOPC spokesperson said: “We’ve raised our concerns about the importance of public confidence in the independence of the process and those concerns remain.

“We note the Met’s response and it is now the force’s duty to bring the proceedings to their proper conclusion.”