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Jermaine’s family slams CPS verdict

INJUSTICE: Jermaine Baker was killed in December 2015

THE FAMILY of Jermaine Baker have expressed their anger at the decision of the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute the police officer who fatally shot him in Wood Green on December 11, 2015.

Baker, 28, from Tottenham, north London, was with two other men in a car near Wood Green Crown Court on the day he died just over two years ago.

They had intended to help free an inmate from a prison van but firearms officers were deployed to foil the plan and Baker, who was unarmed, was shot.

The CPS decision came after the family made an application for a victims’ right to review after the initial decision not to persecute scam win June 2017. The CPS said there was no “realistic prospect of conviction for any offences” in relation to his death. A CPS spokesperson said that Baker’s family had been given a “detailed explanation” of the decision, “alongside an offer to meet the prosecutor if they wish”.

Jermaine’s mother, Margaret Smith said the decision was “very disappointing”. Ms Smith said: “My family and I have had a long and painful wait for this decision. It is not only very disappointing, but also impossible to square with what we know about the available evidence.

We remain determined that the police officer who shot Jermaine must answer for his actions, and to that end we look now to the Coroner’s inquest to ensure that the shocking circumstances in which Jermaine lost his life are finally brought under public scrutiny.”

The family have been work- ing with the charity INQUEST which investigates state-related deaths and the family were represented by INQUEST charity lawyer group member Michael Oswald of Bhatt Murphy Solicitors during the recent victims’ right to review hearing. Oswald said: “More than two years since Jermaine’s death, his family still have not had seen any semblance of accountability in respect of the circumstances in which he lost his life.

Their wait has been all the more painful because they have been prevented from telling the public the shocking truth about how he died, as they under- stand it, with the information available to them.

“They look forward now to a full and thorough inquiry by the coroner so that those matters can finally be brought to light. The public will then be able to come to their own conclusion about the decision by the CPS.”

Deborah Coles, executive director of INQUEST said: “This is a disappointing but not surprising decision given the institutional failure to prosecute police officers.

This will further undermine confidence of bereaved families in the processes for holding police to account. At its core ,are concerns that the rule of law does not apply to the police for abuses of power in the same way as it does to an ordinary citizen. This serves only to create a culture of impunity which frustrates the prevention of abuses of power, ill treatment and misconduct.

“The unexplained delay by the CPS in reaching their decision is unacceptable and has caused huge distress to Jermaine’s family. The inquest must now take place without delay to bring to light the actions of the police following the fatal use of force.”

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