Jermaine Baker family responds to misconduct decision for firearms officer 29 September 2023 The police watchdog has today confirmed that the officer who fatally shot Jermaine Baker is to face a gross misconduct hearing, after the IOPC reviewed its decision that he had a disciplinary case to answer for the shooting. Jermaine Baker was fatally shot by an officer known only as W80, a Metropolitan police officer, in Wood Green on 11 December 2015. In June 2017, the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute the officer W80. The following year the IOPC directed the Metropolitan Police Service to hold gross misconduct proceedings against W80. Legal action against the original decision was taken by W80. In June this culminated in the Supreme Court dismissing the appeal of W80, and ruling that the civil law test on the use of force applies to police conduct decisions. This week, the Metropolitan Police Commissioner highlighted the case of W80 in a letter to the Home Secretary. Margaret Smith, mother of Jermaine Baker, makes the following statement: "My family welcomes the decision of the IOPC to maintain their direction that W80 should face proceedings for gross misconduct. I note that the IOPC have asked the Commissioner to consider asking another force to hold the hearing to provide reassurance about the independence of the process. This is a request that we strongly support. Unfortunately, such a step appears to be necessary in light of the Commissioner’s statements in recent days – particularly his letter of 24 September 2023 to the Home Secretary – and his apparent capitulation to firearms officers demands for impunity. The Commissioner’s position seriously calls into question whether, when push comes to shove, he and the MPS as an organisation have the will or the ability, in Jermaine’s case and others, to hold his officers to account for misconduct. I have been particularly concerned by misleading statements made by the Commissioner about W80 in his letter to the Home Secretary. The Commissioner states ‘almost eight years on, W80 is still waiting to find out if the IOPC are going to maintain their earlier direction that they should face a gross misconduct hearing’. What the Commissioner fails to mention is that much of that delay has been brought about by W80 himself as he has spent the last 4 ½ years trying to avoid a gross mishearing by pursuing legal proceedings all the way to the Supreme Court. The Commissioner also fails to mention that he himself played a part in that delay by actively supporting W80’s case throughout. The Supreme Court, just a few months ago, dismissed the arguments made by W80 and the MPS who had sought to weaken accountability for police use of force by arguing for the less stringent ‘criminal test’ to be used in disciplinary proceedings. Those arguments were rejected on the basis that the ‘civil test’ the IOPC applied when deciding W80 should face disciplinary proceedings is the appropriate test, including because it is better suited to maintaining public confidence. That the Commissioner now asks the Home Secretary to reject the Supreme Court decision by legislating to bring in the criminal test is a further demonstration that the proceedings against W80 cannot be left in his hands. For Jermaine’s case, this means that another force must conduct the disciplinary proceedings. What it means for the confidence that Londoners can have in their police service is another question altogether." NOTES TO EDITORS Any enquiries should be directed to the family’s solicitor, Mr Michael Oswald by email only to [email protected]. INQUEST has been working with the family of Jermaine Baker since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Michael Oswald, Amy Ooi, and Joanna Khan of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors, Phillippa Kaufmann QC of Matrix Chambers, and Fiona Murphy of Doughty Street Chambers. They are supported by INQUEST Head of Casework Anita Sharma. CASE TIMELINE 11 December 2015: Jermaine Baker is fatally shot by a Metropolitan police officer in Wood Green. 5 October 2016: High Court ruled a senior officer involved in Jermaine Baker’s shooting (not W80) should be allowed to retire, despite being under Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation for alleged gross misconduct. This followed the family’s judicial review on this. See media release. 14 June 2017: Crown Prosecution Service announced their decision not to prosecute the police officer who fatally shot Jermaine. 19 March 2018: Crown Prosecution Service confirmed its decision not to prosecute the police officer, following the family’s application for a Victim’s Right to Review. See media release. 17 May 2018: Independent Office for Police Misconduct (IOPC, formerly IPCC) directed the Metropolitan Police Service to hold gross misconduct proceedings on the actions of the officer that fatally shot Jermaine Baker. See media release. 17 February 2020: The Home Secretary Priti Patel announced an independent public inquiry, under the Inquiries Act 2005, to investigate the circumstances of the death. See written statement. 9 October 2020: W80 challenged the IOPC direction of the Metropolitan Police to bring gross misconduct proceedings against them. After various hearings in various courts, the Court of Appeal gave clarification on the legal test to be applied when determining whether police officers’ use of force will amount to misconduct. This decision meant that W80 would face proceedings for gross misconduct, however he is pursuing a further legal challenge in the Supreme Court. See media release. June - September 2021: The Jermaine Baker Public Inquiry opened and the substantive evidence was heard. See media release. 13 December 2021: W80 was granted permission to appeal to the Supreme Court in the case around misconduct. 5 July 2022: The Report of the Jermaine Baker Public Inquiry was published. See media release. 13 – 14 March 2023: The Supreme Court case was heard. 5 July 2023: The Supreme Court has dismissed an appeal from the officer who fatally shot Jermaine Baker, and ruled that the civil law test on the use of force applies to police conduct decisions. See media release.