Socialist Worker

No justice and no peace for Duggan family after inquest concludes 'lawful killing'

by Ken Olende at the High Court
Issue No. 2385

The family of Mark Duggan reacted with shock and fury to the decision of an inquest jury into his killing by police today, Wednesday. 

The jury into Mark's death concluded that he was "lawfully killed" by police in August 2011. 

Mark was gunned down when police stopped the taxi in which he was travelling in Tottenham, north London.

The jury decided that Mark had a gun but it was not in his hand when he was shot.

The atmosphere inside the court before the conclusion had been tense but hopeful. But when the lawful killing verdict was announced there was a moment of stunned silence before outraged shouting and cries of "murderers" broke out.

People walked out of the court and stood in groups in the corridor. One told Socialist Worker, "This is unbelievable, beyond shocking."

For a while the corridors echoed with shouting. People moved around in an angry mass, the majority black people from Tottenham.

One woman shouted, "How can you shoot down an unarmed man and call it legal? If I'd done that I'd be sentenced to life."

"But, you're black," a man replied.

As we walked down the stairs to get out another woman said, "You hope for change but this is one fucked up system."The crowd halted as a group of women cried and hugged each other for support.The family, legal team and campaigners held a brief meeting to decide how to respond. 

They cancelled a planned press conference and made a brief statement on the court steps.

Outside the court, Shaun Hall Mark's brother said,  "We  came for justice today  but we did not get justice. We are leaving with injustice. 

"We have got nothing to hide, we have done nothing wrong. We will still fight for justice."

Carole Duggan, Mark's aunt said, "The majority of the people in this country know that Mark was executed.

"We are going to fight until we have no breath left in our body for Mark and his children."

She promised not to give up, shouting, "No justice, no peace."

The jurors reached the lawful killing conclusion by a majority of eight to two.

The jury concluded that Mark had a gun in the taxi with him before it was stopped. 

And by a majority of nine to one they concluded that it was more likely than not that he had thrown it onto a grassy area near the scene as soon as the car was stopped. 

Eight jurors said that they were sure that he did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot.

The family's solicitor, Marcia Willis Stewart, said, "On August 4 2011 an unarmed man was shot down in Tottenham. Today we have had what we can only call 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.

"They can't believe that this has been the outcome. No gun in his hand and yet he was killed - murdered as they have said, no gun in his hand."

Janet Alder who has long campaigned for justice since her brother died in police custody told Socialist Worker, "There's nothing worse than this. Going through an inquest for months is intense, your emotions are already up there.

"It just goes to show you what the police do. I'm appalled, I'm absolutely appalled.

"I can imagine that family is absolutely devastated right now."It's history that follows the same pattern - and the pattern is that police in this country get away with killing an ordinary citizen."

Socialist Worker's review of evidence presented to the inquest and the contradictions in police case is


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