Wednesday, 16 December 2015

London will burn, if it does not learn. The Shooting Of Jermaine Baker

IPCC Criminal Investigation into the Met Police 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 largely unnoticed by most in the media and our myopic politicians and London MP’s.  

Metropolitan Police and Black community relations in London are now toxic and providing 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 Mayo;who abolished of local Police Community Consultative Groups established by Lord Scarman in the wake of the 1986 Brixton uprisings; who declared in June 2009 that the Metropolitan Police were no longer an institutionally racist institutionthe 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 crimeserious 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 remains 90% white in a city that  is 50% Black and ethnic minority

The simple unacknowledged truth is that London’s black 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 alleged waiting to spring a couple of Turkish gangsters from jail. I am have now been told that Jermaine was actually asleep in the car at time with two other friends who were both subsequently arrested. It is reported that  they were woken when they heard the car window being smashed and then a single shot. No one knew who if anyone had been shot as all had been asleep. It was only when the other two were dragged from the car seconds later, that they realised Jermaine had been shot. 

It is said no one moved, no one threatened the police, no one knew they were being targeted by police, all were asleep at the time.

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 I’m reliably informed is utter bullshit, but typical of the police and press smearing of the suspect, that now routinely follows all suspicious deaths in police custody. Who gave this information to the press ? Obviously the Met Police who else who have interesting access to feed that line? 

In an unprecedented move, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched a criminal investigation.  The IPCC is also said to have requested that the officer concerned be formally suspended.

In 30 years of civil right campaigning I have never seen such strong action taken by the IPCC and or its predecessor body the discredited Police Compliant Authority. 

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/Black 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 work as 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 the 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 Londons black communities and explain why they felt it necessary to take such strong action and what where the general circumstances that led to the killing of Jermaine. 

Cindy Butts former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, now anIPCC Commissioner must now engage with the local Tottenham community and Londoners more generally and explain what happened. 

The key lesson of the London riots in 2011was 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 an s 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. 

All activist for justice such be on notice to attend the IPCC/Police community consultation at Thursday 17th December 2015 6.30 Tottenham Town Hall, Tottenham Hall approach London N15 4RW