UK & World News

  • 9 January 2014, 1:40

Duggan Verdict: Mark Was Executed, Say Family

The family of Mark Duggan have vowed to fight for justice in his name, saying the 29-year-old was "executed" by police on the streets of Tottenham.

The comments come after an inquest jury found Mr Duggan was lawfully killed when he was shot in August 2011, despite not holding a gun at the time.

Speaking outside London's Royal Courts of Justice, Mr Duggan's aunt Carole Duggan said: "The majority of people in this country know that Mark was executed. He was executed and we still believe that.

"We're going to fight until we have no breath in our body: for justice, for Mark, for his children, for all of those deaths in custody. We are not giving up. No justice, no peace."

The jury concluded that Mr Duggan was lawfully killed. They said they believed he had a gun with him in the taxi immediately before police stopped the vehicle in August 2011, but that he threw it over railings as soon as he left the cab.

When he was shot dead by police moments later he did not have a gun in his hand. 

The conclusion of the inquest led to angry scenes both inside and outside the court.

Supporters of the Duggan family shouted abuse at the jurors and reportedly smashed a court door.

Outside, shouts of "no justice, no peace" could be heard as angry supporters voiced their outrage at the finding.

The family's solicitor Marcia Willis Stewart described the conclusion as "a perverse judgment".

"The jury found that he had no gun in his hand and yet he was gunned down. For us that's an unlawful killing.

"The family are in a state of shock and we would ask that you respect their shock. They can't believe that this has been the outcome. No gun in his hand and yet he was killed."

There were further angry scenes as Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley gave a statement to the media gathered outside the court. 

His statement was drowned out amid the shouts of Mr Duggan's supporters, who called out "Who killed Mark Duggan? The police killed Mark Duggan."

In the statement issued through Scotland Yard later, Mr Rowley said: "No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying.

"So our sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one.

"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.

"Armed criminals have shot dead more than 50 people in London in the last three-and-a-half years. We send out well-trained, professional armed officers thousands of times a year to combat this threat, only firing shots once or twice.

"These careful tactics have significantly reduced gun crime."

Responding to the inquest's finding, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) Deputy Chair and Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: ""Our investigation is open and ongoing.

"I have always said that we would consider any new evidence emerging from the inquest and we are now doing so."

Tottenham MP David Lammy, whose constituency was at the heart of the 2011 London riots, said "further clarification" was needed over Mr Duggan's death.

The Labour politician said questions had to be answered to allow the relationship between the community and police to heal. 

"The jury found that a number of key errors were made by Operation Trident and Soca officers in the hours leading up to the shooting.

"There are fundamental and lingering issues that the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigation - now reopened - must attempt to clarify.

"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.

"The Duggan family's sorrow and anger was palpable in court this afternoon and it is a feeling that will inevitably be reflected in the wider community.

"Further clarification on the events surrounding Mark Duggan's shooting is essential to enable the relationship between the community and the police to move forward."

London Mayor Boris Johnson said the inquest had been a "difficult and tragic case for all involved".

"This has been a difficult and tragic case for all involved and my sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one and it's right that Assistant Commissioner Rowley has offered to meet with them," he said.

"On any given day highly trained Metropolitan Police firearms officers can and do face life threatening situations in which they have to make instant judgements under incredible pressure, and yet in the last four years, having responded thousands of times, they have discharged their weapons on just six occasions.

"Londoners should feel assured that the police do an incredible job keeping this city safe."

:: Watch Sky News live on television, on Sky channel 501, Virgin Media channel 602, Freeview channel 82 and Freesat channel 202.

Advertisement