The Met firearms officer who shot dead an armed gangster in 2015 is to face a gross misconduct hearing, the police watchdog has confirmed.
On Thursday the Telegraph revealed that the officer, known only as W80, was to be hauled before a disciplinary hearing and could be sacked over the shooting of Jermaine Baker in 2015.
In an announcement on Friday morning, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) confirmed it was pressing ahead with gross misconduct proceedings and is recommending that it is conducted by an outside police force rather than the Met.
The decision to subject W80 to gross misconduct proceedings follows a lengthy legal battle and comes despite the fact prosecutors found he had no criminal case to answer.
IOPC Acting Director General Tom Whiting said: “This case has been through protracted legal proceedings which have been extremely challenging for everyone involved, not least W80 himself and Jermaine’s family.
“Following the Supreme Court ruling, we carefully reviewed our original decision. We considered evidence from the public inquiry, we invited additional representations from all parties, and sought additional independent assurance.
“We have now upheld our original decision that W80 should face a gross misconduct hearing. This isn’t a decision we have taken lightly, but we believe that it was the right decision in 2015 and remains so following the clear ruling from the Supreme Court in July.
“It’s important to stress that the IOPC does not decide whether or not W80’s actions amounted to gross misconduct – that is the role of the hearing panel who will come to a decision after considering all of the evidence.”
Following the announcement Deputy Commissioner Lynne Owens said the Met would now review the IOPC decision before considering what steps to take next.
She said the force would also take legal advice on the recommendation that an outside force should conduct any misconduct hearing.
She said: “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.
“A public inquiry, concluded in July 2022, determined Mr Baker was lawfully killed. We disagreed with the IOPC decision to direct we hold a gross misconduct hearing for W80 and wrote in detail to the IOPC inviting it to review and reconsider its direction. We wrote to the IOPC more than a year ago and have today been informed of its decision.
“The IOPC has told us that the direction to bring proceedings stands and we must hold a misconduct hearing. We will review the IOPC decision and reasons and consider our next steps.
“We note that the IOPC has asked the MPS to consider asking another force to hold the hearing to provide additional reassurance about the independence of the process.
“We do not accept that our wider call for support and legal reassurance for armed officers impinges upon our independence, nor the impartiality of the misconduct hearing process.
“We will be seeking legal advice in light of the IOPC’s request.
“Last week, the Commissioner wrote an open letter to the Home Secretary calling for reforms intended to simplify and speed up the process by which officers are held to account, particularly when they use force in the course of their duties.
“We welcome the announcement of a review by the Home Office which we hope will bring much needed clarity about the legal powers of armed officers and the threshold for investigating police use of force.
“We will engage fully with the review with a view to avoiding the sort of delay witnessed in this case, achieving greater clarity and providing better protection for the public.
“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.”
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