Mark Duggan killing found “lawful” by jury

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Written By Hasan Rezazadeh

The family of Mark Duggan, who was shot and killed by a policeman in Tottenham in 2011, left the courtroom devastated after the jury decided the policeman’s decision to open fire was lawful.

The conclusion to the death – which sparked the 2011 riots across the UK – was delivered after a four-month trail at London’s High Court.

Whilst the jury rushed out of court, the family, friends and supporters of Duggan greeted the news with anger and disgust.

Pam Duggan, Mark’s mother, spoke outside Tottenham police station on Wednesday. She stated “They [the police] know that they have killed my son,” and that she did not accept the verdict.

The verdict

The verdict came as a surprise to many – including on the police side.

Before the trail’s end, it had seemed the jury would produce a disastrous verdict for the Metropolitan police by finding they had not gathered enough intelligence that Duggan had been trying to acquire a gun.

Instead, the jury gave an eight-to-two majority that the officer had been acting lawfully when he fired at Duggan.

The surprise and outrage was compounded by the fact the jury decided by a majority of eight-to-two that Duggan was not holding a gun when shot down.

They ruled that Duggan had had a gun in the taxi before it was “hard stopped” by the police in North London’s Tottenham in August 2011.

Then, by a majority of nine to one, the jury ruled that Duggan had most likely thrown the gun into a grassy area when the car was stopped.

The officer, known in court as V53, had testified that he was certain he had seen Duggan holding a gun and that he believed Duggan would use it.

This contravenes the statement of the only witness to have given evidence in the trail, known as “Witness B,” who stated that all police officers had seen Duggan with “his hands up… and towards his face,” in non-threatening behaviour.

Public reaction

As the jury gave their decision, Duggan’s mother broke down in tears whilst his brother shouted obscenities at the verdict.

One supporter then shouted “what you running from?” at the fleeing jury, as crashing sounds were heard from outside the courtroom.

Describing the trail as “perverse” shortly after the trail, the Duggan family maintained that his death had been an execution.

They stated their intent to issue a court challenge.

Mark’s aunt Carole Duggan gave an emotional speech outside the courtroom, in which she stated Duggan had been “executed” and that she would fight for justice “until we have no breath left in our bodies.”

“No justice, no peace,” she said.

Whilst the police outside the courtroom had begun to make a statement, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley was heckled and eventually stood down after Duggan supporters shouted “scum” and “murderers.”

He stated it was “significant” that a London jury had found that “Mark Duggan had a gun.”

Rowley continued that is was “also [significant] that our officer had an honest and reasonable belief that Mark Duggan still had the gun when he shot him.”

Some Duggan supporters were physically restrained from confronting the police chief.