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Firearms officer who shot a man dead during a failed prison breakout to face misconduct proceedings following Supreme Court ruling
- Jermaine Baker, 28, was fatally shot by a Met policeman in north London in 2015
A firearms officer who shot a man dead during a failed prison breakout will face misconduct proceedings following a Supreme Court ruling.
Jermaine Baker, 28, was fatally shot at close range by police as he sat in the front passenger seat of a stolen Audi A6 near Wood Green Crown Court in north London in December 2015.
Officers suspected he was one of three men waiting to try and break inmate Izzet Eren, a member of the notoriously violent gang, the Tottenham Turks, out of a prison van.
Mr Baker, from Tottenham, was unarmed at the time he was shot by a counter-terrorism specialist firearms officer (CTSFO) – known only as W80 – who told the inquiry he thought the 28-year-old was reaching for a weapon. An imitation firearm was later found in the rear of the Audi.
The CPS decided not to bring criminal charges against W80 in 2017, and the officer has since been involved in a legal battle over whether he should face misconduct proceedings.
Jermaine Baker, 28, was suspected to be among a group of men trying to free two inmates from a prison van near Wood Green Crown Court in north London in December 2015
Jermaine Baker was fatally shot at close range as he sat in the front passenger seat of a stolen Audi A6 near Wood Green Crown Court in north London in December 2015 by police who suspected he and other conspirators were about to free a dangerous prisoner from a custody van
However, five Supreme Court judges agreed unanimously with an Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) decision that the Met Police officer should be charged with misconduct.
The judges added that they were concerned about the ‘unnecessary complexity’ of law and guidance for the use of force.
The IOPC said the ruling ‘will have important implications for police accountability when force is used’.
At an inquiry into Mr Baker’s death, chairman His Honour Clement Goldstone QC concluded that, while Mr Baker was lawfully killed, there were police failings at almost every stage of the operation, which would ‘serve as a loud wake-up call’ to the next Metropolitan Police Commissioner, following the resignation of Dame Cressida Dick.
Officers at the scene in Bracknell Close, Wood Green north London in 2015 after Jermaine Baker died after being shot during an ‘intelligence led’ police operation
Wormwood Scrubs, where Izzet Eren, a member of notoriously violent gang, the Tottenham Turks, was being held
He said police chiefs were ‘fixated’ and ‘obsessive’ with their mission to stop the release of Eren and crack down on the Tottenham Turks that they couldn’t see the flaws in their approach.
Mr Goldstone suggested the operation ‘would have little effect on disrupting the activity of the Tottenham Turks or on achieving sustained public protection’.
He added: ‘The idea that this operation could succeed in ridding the streets of North London of lethal firearms was delusional – in reality, one firearm was the best the MPS could hope to recover.’
Bizarre decisions included an insistence not to consult Serco, the firm running the prisoner van, of the operation plans due to fears of corruption within the company, which Mr Goldstone described as ‘unspecified, undocumented and unsubstantiated.’
Had the force included them in planning, officers could have controlled Eren’s van as well as who else was inside and the route it took from the prison to the court, he added.
Izzet Eren: The Turkish gangster police said Jermaine Baker was trying to break out of prison
Mr Baker was fatally shot by an officer during a Metropolitan Police operation which thwarted a plot to snatch Izzet Eren (pictured) and his co-defendant in December 2015
Officers suspected Mr Baker was one of three men waiting to try and break inmate Izzet Eren, a member of notoriously violent gang, the Tottenham Turks, out of a prison van.
Eren – a Turkish gangster – was jailed for 21 years earlier in 2015 after being caught carrying a loaded pistol and a machine gun in north London while allegedly on his way to carry out a shooting.
He was described by police as ‘a senior member of a Turkish crime group’, who had reportedly returned to the UK in breach of a deportation order having been sentenced for drug trafficking offences.
His gang, the Tottenham Turks, had a long-running feud with the rival Hackney Turks, which resulted in multiple shootings, both in London and in Turkey, dating to 2009.
Eren, now 39, was transferred to a jail in his homeland in August 2019, but absconded from that prison a month later, before being busted by police in Moldova in May this year.
Commander Fiona Mallon, Specialist Crime, said: ‘I thank the Moldovan authorities, the National Crime Agency and the Crown Prosecution Service for their assistance in achieving this significant outcome.
‘The Metropolitan Police Serious Crime Manhunt team works around the clock to track down the criminals ‘most wanted’ by the Met. In this case, a hugely complex investigation was launched to establish Eren’s whereabouts, with a wide range of investigative and sensitive intelligence opportunities exploited.
‘This arrest sends a clear message to all those who commit serious crime in London: if you run, we will locate you and you will be brought to justice.’
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