Socialist Worker

Mark Duggan cop ‘didn’t hear’ call to put gun down, inquest told

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2374

Senior met police officer Z51 (on the right of the picture, pointing down) was questioned at the inquest into Mark Duggan’s death last week

Senior met police officer Z51 (on the right of the picture, pointing down) was questioned at the inquest into Mark Duggan’s death last week (Pic: The Duggan Inquest)


The cop in charge of the firearms operation in which police shot and killed Mark Duggan said that he did not hear officers warn Mark to put down a weapon.

The senior Met officer, known as Z51, was giving evidence at the inquest into Mark’s death on Tuesday of last week. 

Counsel to the Inquest Mr Ashley Underwood QC asked Z51 if he heard cops say “put the gun down”. Z51 said “I cannot remember. I just remember a lot of shouting.”

Underwood then asked, “Would it have stood out to you if you heard somebody shouting a command that would have made it obvious that the man was armed?” Z51 said, “I believe it would, sir, yes.”

Underwood pressed, “So let me be completely clear about this: if you heard, ‘Put the gun down’, that’s something that would have stuck in your mind?” Z51 replied, “I would have remembered that, yes. I didn’t hear that.”

Shortly after the shooting Z51 said police found a gun wrapped in a sock behind a wall about two metres from where Mark lay dying.

Michael Mansfield, QC for the Duggan family, asked Z51 if they had planted the gun. 

Z51 dismissed the suggestion saying, “Outrageous…that’s absolutely outrageous.”

Mansfield later asked, “Are you likely to get involved in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice?” Z51 said, “It has to be put I suppose but it is absolute nonsense and there is not an iota of truth in it.”

Shouting

The inquest heard from a firearms officer coded ZZ37 on Thursday of last week. ZZ37 told jurors that moments before Mark was shot, “I heard lots of shouting”.

ZZ37 was asked by Ashley Underwood QC, “Can you help us with any detail of the shouts that you heard?” ZZ37 said, “It’s—‘Police, police, armed police’.”

They added, “There was a lot of armed police officers there that day and lots of shouting, lots of commotion going on. You can’t pick up everything.”

Lawyer Leslie Thomas is also representing the Duggan family. He asked ZZ37 why they did not mention, in their initial witness statement after the shooting, that they had heard cops shout a warning about armed police.

ZZ37 said, “The things you write sometimes that you don’t put in your statement. I know what I remember, there are things that you don’t remember. I have not put it in my statement, I don’t know why I have not put it in there, but that’s what I heard.”

The inquest also heard from Mark’s brother Marlon Duggan, who spoke to Mark at 6.10pm, minutes before he was shot.

He said, Mark had “told me to meet him” later. “He seemed normal,” he told the inquest. “Just like any other day.”

The inquest continues.


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