December 18, 2015
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(ANTIMEDIA) United Kingdom — A Metropolitan police officer has been arrested over the fatal shooting of a man in London last Friday. Jermaine Baker was shot dead by a firearms officer during an alleged plot to free two prisoners who were being taken to a London court.
Baker was sitting in a car near Wood Green crown court when he was hit in the neck by a single gunshot fired through the windscreen. Media allegations that the 28-year-old father of two had gang links have distressed his family. Witnesses who are afraid to step forward due to fear of intimidation, have claimed that Baker was asleep when he was shot.
Announcement of the police officer’s arrest was made at a community meeting on Thursday evening where a number of significant developments were disclosed. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed that Baker was in a black Audi when he was shot, claiming that a non-police issue firearm was in the car.
Refusing to say what offense the police officer had been arrested on suspicion of, IPCC commissioner Cindy Butts said:
“Further forensic examinations will take place on the non-police issue firearm and the firearm that was discharged by the police officer. I am not able to provide information about whereabouts in the car the non-police issue firearm was found or where Mr Baker was sat. These questions are the focus of our investigation.”
Police faced public anger and strong views at the meeting, including shouts of “murdered, not killed.” Cries of “deja vu” were also heard — in a scenario that echoes the killing of Mark Duggan — who was controversially shot by police while riding in a cab in 2011.
Days before Jermaine Baker was shot, Scotland Yard announced plans to deploy armed patrols in “gang crime neighbourhoods” as part of a tough crackdown on youth violence. While examples of such deaths are relatively rare in the U.K., it seems Baker could be the first victim of armed response vehicles patrolling the targeted areas — which also happen to be London’s poorest communities.
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