Criminal Investigation into the Met Police shooting of Jermaine Baker. London will burn, if it does not learn. The Shooting Of Jermaine Baker
There is rising anger in London’s black communities in the wake of the police shooting of Jermaine Baker in Wood Green Tottenham and Nathaniel Brophy in Brixton. Both were shot and by Metropolitan Police Officers.
This will have gone unnoticed by most in the media, our myopic politicians and London MP’s. Police and community relations in London are now toxic and provide a potentially combustible and explosive environment.
Why so bad?
Well as a direct consequence of almost eight years of Boris Johnson’s tenure police as Mayor who abolished of local Police Community Consultative Groups established by Lord Scarman in the wake of the 1986 Brixton uprisings; whodeclared in June 2009 that the Metropolitan Police were no longer an institutionally racist institution; the huge spike in the abusive use of Stop and Search; the use of the discredited and discriminatory law of Joint Enterprise; the rise in suspicious deaths in police custody of black men like Sean Rigg, Smiley Culture, Mark Duggan, Nathaniel Brophy and Jermaine Baker; a welter of race police complaints; the falling number and low rank of black officers in the service; the Mayors failure to tackle knife crime; serious violence and rape all aspects of youth violence; all of these issues have lead to dramatically falling levels of confidence of London’s black communities in a police service that remains90% white in a city that is 50% Black and ethnic minority.
The simple unacknowledged truth is that London’s communities relations with Met are today the worst they’ve ever been in the last 20 years.
Father of two, 28 year old Jermaine Baker was shot whilst allegedwaiting to spring a couple of Turkish gangsters from jail.
It’s been said that Jermaine was actually asleep in the car at time with two other friends. They heard a window being smashed and then a single shot. No one moved no one threatened the police, no one knew they were being targeted by police.
The press have reported that Jermaine ‘ came out firing’ at the police after being challenged whilst sitting alone in his Black Audi. The press have also reported that Jermaine was a ‘close friend of Mark Duggan’ this is mainstream media bullshit but typical of the smearing of the suspect, that now routinely follows all suspicious deaths in police custody.
In an unprecedented move, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) launched a criminal investigation. The IPCC is also said to have requested that the officer concerned be formally suspended.
One can only assume that there must be compelling evidence that has lead the IPCC to take the unheard of decision to launch a criminal investigation.
We now know that the firearms officers involved were not wearing the much-heralded technological saviours of Police community relations, the world famous police Bodycams. What this points to is the utter confusion about the policy of police bodycams.
The IPCC doesn’t have the technology to download bodycams video so are totally reliant on the Met for access. Secondly all Met Police officers, in particular and worryingly specialist firearms officers, do not routinely wear the body cams.
When the Bodycams are worn and do workas we found out in the case of the August Brixton shooting of Nathaniel Brophy, shot on the Tilson Gardens Estate over a dispute over rent arrears and a planned eviction, the Police bodycams, were not mounted in the right position by officers and in the case of Brophy much of the captured footage only managed to record officers boots.
In relation to the latest shooting of Jermaine Baker, the IPCC is now meeting London’s black communities and explain why they felt it necessary to take such strong action and what were the general circumstances that led to the killing of Jermaine.
Cindy Butts former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, now an IPCC Commissioner must now engage with the local Tottenham community and Londoners more generally and explain what happened.
What has been learnt?
The key lesson of the London riots in 2011 was the need to ensure good communication with communities. What exists now is a glaring information vacuum
The absence of information in such a febrile atmosphere is a castrophic error.
London is teetering on the edge of another riot. All the indicators are flashing red and as usual the establishment is blindsided, constantly minimising or dismissing the problem and remains as if it has no clue as to the real level of anger out there.
Tottenham MP David Lammy spoke of his “deep concern” over the police shooting of a young father as investigators returned to the scene to seek fresh witnesses.
Mr Lammy, speaking after attending a public meeting over the death of Jermaine Baker, described “pain and anger” in the community amid rumours he had been shot while asleep in a car.
Mr Baker, 28, from Tottenham, died during the police operation, the Independent Police Complaints Commission announced yesterday the firearms officer involved had been arrested and suspended.
Senior officers received an angry reception at a meeting of 150 people at Tottenham town hall.
Mr Lammy told Radio 4’s Today programme: “There was a lot of pain and anger where the rumour on the street was this man was asleep in a car.”
He said: “I am deeply, deeply concerned. We must be careful we do not smear somone’s character and there is a sense in the community that this comes from the Metropolitan Police.”
Borough comander Victor Olisa said Mr Baker was not on the Met’s gangs database.
One man, who gave his name as Josh, said: “He was not a gang member. He was shot while asleep in a car.”
This is message to all London and UK politicians.
Take heed and act fast, given the critical circumstances it may be even now too late to avert further widespread disturbances. If London doesn’t learn it will burn. These issues continue to ferment for the next Mayor under the malign wilful neglect of issues between the police and communities by Boris Johnson, a Mayor incapable of recognising the inequality, social disparity.
What is required is not some half arsed policy proposals, warm reheat’s of previous failed initiatives, designed to catch headlines rather than save lives. What is needed is the adoption of radical policies anti violence policies and a urgent repair of the relationship between police and communities in London.
If I were you I’d pay close and particular attention.