A police marksman who shot dead a gangster eight years ago will face a gross misconduct hearing “at the earliest opportunity”, Scotland Yard has confirmed.
The Metropolitan Police firearms officer, known only as W80, could be sacked over the incident, despite being cleared of criminal wrongdoing.
In December 2015, W80 shot 28-year-old Jermaine Baker during a police operation as he was preparing to spring two prisoners from a prison van near Wood Green Crown Court in north London.
In 2017, prosecutors concluded there was insufficient evidence to bring criminal charges against the officer.
A public inquiry in July 2022 found that Baker had been “lawfully killed” but said that police made numerous failures in planning and carrying out the operation.
Earlier this year, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) won a lengthy legal battle with the Met Police, demanding that W80 face disciplinary proceedings.
On Monday, Scotland Yard said the misconduct hearing would take place at the earliest opportunity, but rejected the watchdog’s suggestion that another force should run proceedings.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Given these events took place eight years ago and the ongoing process of investigation and inquiry has had a significant impact on all concerned, it is in everyone’s interests we proceed to the misconduct hearing and conclude this matter at the earliest opportunity.
“We have also considered the IOPC request that we ask another force to hold the hearing.
“Our position remains that we do not accept the Met’s objections to the IOPC’s earlier direction to hold a gross misconduct hearing, or our wider call for support and legal reassurance for armed officers, impinges upon our independence, nor the impartiality of the misconduct hearing process.
“The hearing arrangements for W80 will be made by the Met. However, the police panel member will be from another force and the hearing will be led by an independent legally qualified chair.
“Arrangements are now being made for the hearing to proceed as soon as possible.”
Calls for different force to hold hearing
Baker’s mother, Margaret Smith, backed the IOPC’s call for another force to hold the misconduct hearing because the Met was involved in the legal battle that would have stopped it taking place.
An IOPC spokesman said: “We’ve raised our concerns about the importance of public confidence in the independence of the process and those concerns remain.
“We note the Met’s response and it is now the force’s duty to bring the proceedings to their proper conclusion.”