UK & World News

  • 9 January 2014, 18:48

Mark Duggan Verdict 'Confusing To Family'

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe has told Sky News he understands that the Mark Duggan inquest verdict is "distressing" and "confusing" to his family.

He spoke out after David Cameron appealed for a calm response to a jury's ruling that Mr Duggan was lawfully killed by a police marksman despite being unarmed.

Mr Duggan's death in 2011 sparked riots across the country - and forces have been braced for more violence after jurors ruled on Wednesday that officers were justified in killing him.

The father-of-six, 29, was shot twice when police stopped the taxi he was in at Tottenham, north London.

His family say they will pursue a judicial review into the jury's verdict.

Sir Bernard told Sky: "In terms of the jury's verdict, I think it's probably not for me to try to explain that.

"But I do understand that why - with a finding of lawful killing - there is concern that when the officer fired, the jury believed that Mark Duggan didn't have a gun in his hand.

"First of all, I'd encourage everybody to read what the jury said. I think in reading that, it makes it a little clearer rather than just small parts of it.

"What the jury did find is that Mark did take a gun into the taxi and got out of the taxi with a gun in his hand. But at the point in which he was shot, didn't have the gun in his hand."

He added: "The other thing I'd encourage people to try and understand is the dilemma that the police officer has in these circumstances. These are split-second decisions when they think their lives are at risk too...these are very difficult circumstances.

"The jury's had to consider this over three months, and they drew the conclusion that the jury acted lawfully.

"It's distressing for the family, confusing for the reasons we just discussed. But I think we understand that ten good people from London - that are representative of London - came to that conclusion after hearing all the evidence."

Earlier, he said the shooting had led to a "significant reduction in trust" between the capital's black communities and the police.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was looking at new evidence that emerged from the inquest.

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