Jermaine Baker: ‘death by a single fuck up’
Jermaine Baker, 28, was shot dead by police. The Daily Star says police will “lay down their weapons” if one of their number is charged over the shooting.
Baker is an “alleged gangster”. It is claimed he was killed whilst trying to “spring too crooks from a prison van” in Wood Green, north London.
What’s odd is that only one shot was fired. The police favour the double-tap technique; two shots fired in quick succession. One shot to kill can be unreliable.
Baker was shot in the chest.
Was he armed? Well, an imitation firearm was found nearby.
The officer who fired once has been arrested. The Independent Police Commissioner has been investigating.
The Star calls it a “police farce”. It doesn’t say what Baker’s nearest and dearest call it.
The Express takes up the story on its Page 5. The headline, “Cameron: Let police shoot to kill”, argues that policemen cannot operate if they fear they will “dragged through the courts for opening fire to save lives”.
Would Cameron’s view change if his loved ones lived in rougher parts of town and actually encountered police when they were not acting as the elite’s bodyguards?
Was Baker a clear and present dancer to human life?
On the Mail’s Page 4 we hear more that the PM “may give more legal protection” to police marksmen.
We hear from ‘The Eliminator’, a chap called Anthony Long, who says he “did not give any thought at all” before shooting dead three criminals. Long says shooting a suspect is “not an accident”. He says the current laws are “quite adequate”.
In July, Long was cleared of murdering Azelle Rodney, a gangster.
In the Mirror, we hear that the review over shoot-to-kill policing is “not linked to Jermaine Baker”.
The BBC has news from the other side.
Haringey Borough Commander Victor Olisa said police did not believe Mr Baker was a gang member, as had been suggested in some newspapers. Community spokesman Darren Henry said: “The police officers murdered Jermaine. He was asleep when he was shot. There are witnesses who are afraid to step forward because of the witness intimidation in the Mark Duggan case.”
The police shot dead a sleeping man? PS: Duggan was killed with a bullet to the chest. Duggan had no gun in his hand when he was shot dead. A gun was found nearby. One informed Met source said: “It was death by a thousand fuckups.”
Duggan was hit by two shots. Tap. Tap.
David Lammy, the Labour MP for Tottenham, told Radio 4’s Today programme: “Jermaine Baker’s life is no less than anybody else’s who die in these circumstances. And if we live in a civilised country, you lose your life as a result of a police action, it should garner the greatest of scrutiny. That is the basis of having policing by consent in our country.”
What about cameras? Londonist notes:
After the death of Mark Duggan, armed police were supposed to start wearing body cameras to record incidents. However, in October the IPCC pointed out that the camera’s positioning meant its view was blocked when an officer raised a weapon to the shoulder.
Even if this had been rectified, the Commissioner has said that there are two types of firearms officer deployment: overt and covert. Cameras are noticeable: wearing one would give away the identity of any plainclothes officer on the scene. The operation in Wood Green was apparently of a covert nature.
What we want to know is: why only one shot fired? Was this death an accident cause by a itchy trigger finger?