The firearms officer who killed Jermaine Baker during a foiled prison breakout more than seven years ago will face misconduct proceedings, a watchdog has announced.
Mr Baker, 28, of Tottenham, north London, was shot during a Metropolitan Police operation which thwarted a plot to snatch two prisoners from a van near Wood Green Crown Court in December 2015.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the officer, known only as W80, will now face a gross misconduct hearing.
It comes despite the findings of a public inquiry, that concluded in July 2022, that determined Mr Baker was lawfully killed.
The decision will spark further fury amongst the Met’s marksmen and women. More than a 100 handed in their guns last weekend in protest over the charging of a colleague with rapper Chris Kaba’s murder.
Deputy Commissioner Lynne Owens said Officer W80 was part of a firearms team “deployed to intercept a car containing a gang who were attempting to break a dangerous criminal out of custody”.
She said the force is reviewing the IOPC’s latest move, adding: “Today’s announcement follows protracted legal proceedings which we know have had a significant personal impact on Mr Baker’s family, the officer, their family and colleagues.
“Our firearms officers do an incredibly difficult job in some of the most challenging and often dangerous circumstances.
“It is right and they expect and accept their actions are open to independent scrutiny – but officers need sufficient legal protection to enable them to do their job and keep the public safe, with confidence it will be applied consistently and without fear or favour.”
The public inquiry into his death concluded in July last year that Mr Baker was “lawfully killed” by the firearms officer, but found that police made numerous failures in the planning and execution of the operation.
The retired judge in charge said he accepted that the firearms officer who fired the fatal shot honestly believed Mr Baker had ignored his instruction to show his hands and was reaching for a weapon.
He said: “I have concluded that W80 shot Mr Baker because he honestly believed that Mr Baker posed a lethal threat and that it was reasonably necessary for him to shoot in order to defend himself.”
An imitation firearm, an Uzi, was later found in the rear of the car.
The IOPC decison follows a Supreme Court ruling earlier this year that held the officer could face misconduct proceedings after a lengthy legal battle.
Prosecutors initially decided not to bring criminal charges against the marksman in 2017, but the subsequently IOPC directed the force should bring disciplinary proceedings against the officer for gross misconduct.
That decision was quashed by the High Court in August 2019, after it was challenged by Officer W80, but the Court of Appeal overturned that ruling in October 2020 after the IOPC brought an appeal.
In July of this year, the Supreme Court upheld the Court of Appeal's ruling and dismissed an appeal by Officer W80, which was supported by the Met.
A panel of five justices unanimously ruled the IOPC applied the correct legal test when directing the Met to bring disciplinary proceedings against the officer.
The judges held that the civil, and not criminal, law test applies in disciplinary proceedings in relation to the use of force by a police officer in self-defence.
Mr Baker was among a group of men trying to free Izzet Eren and his co-defendant as they were transported from Wormwood Scrubs to be sentenced for a firearms offence.
A number of men were jailed in 2016 for their parts in the plot.