Police marksman faces sack over shooting
A POLICE marksman could be sacked over the fatal shooting of a suspect during a failed prison van escape, the police watchdog announced yesterday.
The officer, known as W80 for legal reasons, was told by the Crown Prosecution Service last year that he would not face criminal charges over the death of Jermaine Baker in Wood Green, north London, in December 2015.
But the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said that the Metropolitan Police will hold a gross misconduct hearing having carried out an independent investigation into the 28-year-old’s death.
Announcing the decision, IOPC regional director Sarah Green said: ‘I have determined that in the specific circumstances of this case, a hearing could make a finding of gross misconduct.’
The decision met with anger from W80’s colleagues who said it threatened officers with ‘losing their jobs for protecting the public’.
W80 could be sacked if the tribunal concludes he used excessive force when he shot Mr Baker dead.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, which represents London’s rank and file officers, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘Firearms officers are some of the bravest and highly skilled officers who are expected to make split-second decisions that are then analysed over many years.
‘It is no wonder that the Police Service is struggling to recruit firearms officers when they are threatened with losing their job after protecting the public.’
Mr Baker, from Tottenham, north London was killed as armed police foiled an attempt to free convicted criminal Izzet Eren, while he was being taken from Wormwood Scrubs prison to Wood Green Crown Court on December 11.
Mr Baker and two other men were waiting in a car. W80 said he had acted in self-defence and was therefore told he would not face a murder charge.
It was revealed after the incident that the man was unarmed. However, investigators later recovered an imitation firearm from behind the driver’s seat.
Shot: Jermaine Baker