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Video: Police shouted down after verdict in London riots case

There were angry scenes outside a London court this evening after a jury found that Mark Duggan had been lawfully killed.


(Video: Channel 4 News/YouTube)

THERE WERE SCENES of extreme tension outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice this evening following a verdict of lawful killing in the case which sparked the riots of 2011.

A police spokesperson was shouted down by a crowd yelling “murderer” and chanting at him as he read a statement from the London Metropolitan Police about the death of Mark Duggan.

A semi-circle of police officers stood around Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley as he read his statement, which was drowned out repeatedly by the protesters.

Mark Duggan, 29, was shot dead by police officers in Tottenham in north London in August 2011 after they stopped the taxi in which he was travelling. Police said that they believed Duggan, who was being investigated for being part of a gang, had a gun in his hand.

The jury at his inquest today ruled that Duggan did not have a gun when he was shot. However they concluded that he had had one with him and had thrown it out of the taxi moments before being shot by police. The jury recorded a verdict of lawful killing by a majority of 8-2.

Duggan’s mother Pam broke down in court following the verdict while one supporter shouted at jurors.

imageMark Duggan’s mother Pam (right) and her son Marlon Duggan outside the court today. (Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire)

Duggan’s family said justice had not been done.

“The family are in a state of shock… They can’t believe that this has been the outcome,” said family lawyer Marcia Willis Stewart. “No gun in his hand and yet he was killed – murdered as they have said – no gun in his hand”.

In his statement, Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said the police force had sympathy with Mark Duggan’s family.

“No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying,” he said. “But the task our officers face in making split-second decisions when confronting armed criminals means there is a risk – a very small risk – that this will happen”.

Labour MP for Tottenham David Lammy said the jury’s findings should be respected but that questions remained about the actions of the police.

The jury found that a number of errors were made by officers in the hours leading up to the shooting, which Lammy said needed to be clarified by the body which investigates complaints against the police.

“These questions must be answered not just for the sake of the Duggan family but to diffuse the confusion, conjecture and suspicion that continue to surround the events of that August evening,” he said.

Two days after Duggan was killed, civil unrest erupted in Tottenham following a peaceful march, which then spread across the capital and to other cities across England.

- Additional reporting by Associated Press

Read: Killing that sparked London riots was lawful says UK jury >

A different view: A look back at the 2011 London riots >

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