Socialist Worker

Inquiry urged to uncover truth about police shooting of Jermaine Baker

by Isabel Ringrose
Issue No. 2760

Jermaine Baker

Jermaine Baker (Pic: Family picture)


A public inquiry began this week into the police shooting of 28 year old Jermaine Baker. He was killed by a Metropolitan police officer on 11 December 2015—despite being unarmed.

Baker’s killer has their anonymity protected and will be known as W80.

Margaret Smith, Baker’s mother, said before the inquiry, “The truth is all I that want from this inquiry.

“I want the inquiry itself to be determined and fearless enough to follow the evidence wherever it goes.

“It is time that my family and the public know the full story of how Jermaine died.”

Baker’s family, including his mother and partner, were due to give an opening statement and evidence this week.

Almost 25,000 pages of evidence, some of it redacted, has been disclosed to the inquiry.

Baker was allegedly one of a group of men trying to free prisoner Izzet Eren as he was transported from Wormwood Scrubs prison to be sentenced.

W80 claims he thought Baker, who was sitting in a car, was reaching for a gun.

No firearm was found after the shooting, but the police recovered an imitation machine gun in the car.

Missing

During the opening day on Monday, the inquiry heard that after the shooting W80 went missing, was declared “a high-risk missing person” and tried to kill himself.

W80 was arrested on suspicion of murder, but the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decided not to pursue criminal charges.

Then in May 2018 the Independent Office for Police Misconduct directed the Met to hold gross misconduct proceedings.

Despite an appeal by W80, in October 2020 the Court of Appeal said W80 would face proceedings in future.

Police knew about the planned prison break and conducted surveillance in an operation codenamed Ankaa.

A tracker and audio probe was fitted to the stolen car that was intended to be used for the getaway. Kate Blackwell QC, counsel to the inquiry, said intelligence was received that only a replica firearm was available to the group.

A transcript of a conversation in the car before the police approached included, “Where’s the shottie? We’re not getting it.”

Morgan verdict as damning ‘as the Macpherson report’
Morgan verdict as damning ‘as the Macpherson report’
  Read More

“It’s clear that what was being discussed was the lack of a real firearm,” said Blackwell.

Police also received intelligence the night before the shooting that the group only had a replica.

An audio recording was played to the inquiry of loud breathing or snoring in the car just before the police approached.

Members of the group said Baker was sleeping before the police surrounded the car.

Blackwell said, “W80 may not have allowed Mr Baker enough time to observe oral warnings given to him … W80 discharged his weapon very shortly after opening the car door.” W80 also opened fire seconds after the passenger door was opened.

Footage was also played in which Met officers scream a series of commands at the group.

Blackwell told the inquiry that the officer had said, “They were experienced, and they were intending to attack a prison van and break free a dangerous criminal, and I believed the occupants would fight their way out rather than surrender.”

She added, “Counsel to the inquiry are unaware of any information or intelligence suggesting that the occupants of the Audi were unlikely to be compliant.”

The inquiry continues.

View the inquiry here

Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'


Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.