Photo via the BBC

Photo via the BBC

After a three-month inquiry, a jury in London found police acted lawfully when they shot and killed 29-year-old Mark Duggan on August 4, 2011. The incident was the catalyst for the 2011 London riots that swept across the city and prompted many to blame the city’s stop-and-search tactics for the outburst.

A police marksman shot Duggan twice as he exited a taxicab in the Tottenham section of north London. Police suspected the father of four was armed, but later admitted he did not have a gun when he was fatally shot. Despite this, the jury concluded Duggan was armed, but ditched the gun before being killed by police. A gun was found 10-20 ft. away from the scene, but did not have Duggan’s fingerprints on it, and gun residue was not found on his hands. A witness claimed Duggan was holding a cellphone when police shot him.

The Guardian reports:

Duggan died “within 10 heartbeats” of a bullet striking his aorta. The jury was told police believed Duggan was a member of TMD, Tottenham Man Dem, which officers believed had links to guns used in nightclubs.

The officer who shot Duggan twice, known as V53, testified he had seen a gun in Duggan’s right hand, and believed the suspect was preparing to use it. V53 said he had acted in self-defence, fearing that his own life or the lives of his colleagues were in danger from Duggan.

The key issue for the jury was whether Duggan was holding a gun, as the marksman said, when he exited the cab and came face to face with armed police.

V53 and a second officer, W70, told the jury they had both seen Duggan holding a gun but were surprised when they could not find it later.

In fact, a gun, wrapped in a sock, was found on the other side of a fence three to six metres (10-20ft) away from where the fatally injured Duggan fell to the pavement, the jury heard. The gun was capable of being fired but had not been “racked”, so was not ready to fire.

Neither the gun nor the sock had any DNA or fingerprints from Duggan on it. Gun residue was also absent from the deceased, save for a speck in his back pocket which the jury was told was scientifically irrelevant. His fingerprints were on a shoebox found inside the cab in which it is believed the gun had been stored, and traces of the drug ecstasy were in his bloodstream.

The jury was asked whether Duggan could have been holding a mobile phone when he left the cab. Seconds before the cab was made to stop, Duggan had held a three-minute conversation with his brother Marlon. One witness claimed he had seen the shooting from 150 metres away and claimed Duggan was shot while surrendering with a mobile phone in his hand.

In the days before the shooting, the Met had received intelligence from the Serious Organised Crime Agency about TMD. It ran a four-day operation codenamed Dibri targeting six members of the gang, one of whom was Duggan.

Duggan’s family called the ruling “perverse” and reacted emotionally to the verdict. His brother yelled, “F—k them,” while others called police “murders.” According to the Guardian, Duggan’s mother collapsed in the courtroom, while his aunt said Duggan had been “executed” by metropolitan police.



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  • It’s Me

    My heart broke while reading this. I’m not that religious, but my prayers truly go out to his family during this time. I can’t even imagine what they’re going through..

  • Third Light (formerly know as EL)

    I live in Birmingham, which is one of the cities the riots spread to when this happened, Londons not far from here.

    I’ve been following parts of the inquest since it’s earlier months and I remember thinking, despite the usual scenarios for police killing and brutalizing Black people, I didn’t think they’d get away with it, it was just so obvious to that they’d planted the gun or something. And lo an behold the same ol verdict.

    This is why I say Black is Black no matter where, don’t be fooled that living in the UK or any other European country is some kind of haven away from America for Black people as some Black Americans think that we don’t experience the same racism, hardship, discrimination, Black men facing police brutality, etc. which I don’t understand.

    This always happens, so many deaths of Black men at the hands of police using “lawful killing”, supposed mental health issues and deaths in police custody as excuses.

    Black lives are not of any value apparently.

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  • http://gravatar.com/geenababe geenababe

    Black Americans think that we don’t experience the same racism, hardship, discrimination
    ——————————————————————-
    One of the reasons for this is because some black who live outside of the world claim that they don’t experience racism, hardship, or discrimination. I have seen on many different website were some black outside of the U.S. has ask why are we always concern about race or they we need to move from the U.S because in whatever country they live in its butterflies and roses.