Socialist Worker

Cops grilled over Mark Duggan’s shooting

by Simon Basketter
Issue No. 2373

Mark Duggan lay shot in the street surrounded by police and paramedics

Mark Duggan lay shot in the street surrounded by police and paramedics (Pic: The Duggan Inquest)

A senior police officer has claimed that no lessons could be learned from the operation that killed Mark Duggan. Acting Detective Superintendent Mick Foote was in charge of the Metropolitan Police’s gun crime unit in north west London in 2011. 

Mark was shot dead by police who had been following a minicab in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, in August that year. Foote told the inquest, “I am quite satisfied with the way things went” despite the “tragic circumstances”.

No officer involved in the operation had been moved or suspended, the court heard. Mark Duggan’s mother Pamela sobbed as her statement was read to the inquest. 

She said Mark’s death was the “final straw” for his father Bruno, who died from cancer last year. “Mark may not have been an angel but he should not have died the way he did,” she said.

Foote was cross-examined by Michael Mansfield QC, representing the Duggan family. 

Mansfield described the police operation as “the result of flawed planning, in which you were involved, which was based on a failure by you and others to properly assess and implement  accurate intelligence that was the result of deficient supervision”.

Foote said that gangsters did not act predictably which meant that police had to be ready to react spontaneously. Mansfield asked him, “Have lessons been learned?” Foote replied, “I have often thought about that and I can’t think of what lessons have to be learned.”

Foote had previously told the inquest that police intelligence in June 2011 suggested Mark was “confrontational and violent” and that he was a senior member of a Tottenham gang.

Giving evidence, Strategic Firearms Commander Fiona Mallon said, “the operation had to be authorised to keep the public safe.” She said she was initially told Mark came towards officers firing a gun before he was shot.

The jury has already heard that no gun residue was found on Mark. Nor were his DNA or fingerprints found on a gun in a sock  recovered by police 10 to 20 feet from where he fell.


Police deny Mark ‘set up’

An anonymous letter alleging that police set up Mark Duggan has been dismissed as false. 

The letter suggested that a link between an informant and an officer led to the shooting. 

But Detective Inspector Katie Lilburn said that no such connection had been found. 

Under the alias Richard Chamberlain, the document alleged that an informant, referred to as U1, convinced Mark to pick up a gun before tipping off police.

Lilburn said U1 “is not nor has ever been a registered police informant”.



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