Socialist Worker

Anger and defiance in Tottenham after inquest conclusion into Mark Duggan’s death

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2385

The scene on Ferry Lane after the police shooting

The scene on Ferry Lane after the police shooting (Pic: The Duggan Inquest)


A jury inquest conclusion that Mark Duggan was lawfully killed by police has caused anger and defiance on the streets of Tottenham.

Police shot Mark in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011. Many people there expressed disbelief at the inquest decision in light of overwhelming evidence against the police.

Ahasen was born and grew up in Tottenham. He told Socialist Worker, “I was so shocked when I heard.

“I think people in Tottenham are thinking now – what if the shoe was on the other foot? What if Mark had shot a police officer?

“Police always get away with it – look at what happened to Smiley Culture.

“They make out there’s justice and it’s a balance thing – but there’s no justice, there’s just us.”

The jury in the inquest into Mark’s death reached the conclusion of lawful killing by a majority of eight to two. But they concluded that Mark did not have a gun when he was shot.

They also concluded by nine to one that it was more likely than not that Mark threw a gun to where one was found nearby. It was found 7.34 metres away from where Mark was shot.

This contradicts key evidence given throughout the inquest.

After boxing in the minicab in a “hard stop” police were immediately out of their vehicles.

Police

One officer, known as W42, was shot in his radio by a police bullet. W42 told the inquest that he was out of his vehicle and on the pavement as the minicab doors were sliding open.

He then said that he saw Mark getting out.

Leslie Thomas QC asked W42, “Did you see anything being thrown from the cab?” W42 replied, “No, sir, I didn’t.”

W42 then said he had his eyes on the cab at all times in the run-up to the stop. He said he did not see anything being thrown from the vehicle.

There were just 10 seconds between the hard stop and the shooting. There was no opportunity for Mark to throw a heavy handgun over seven metres in a concealed way.

There were no fingerprints or DNA from Mark on the gun or on the sock it was wrapped in.

Mark wasn’t wearing gloves when he was shot. If he threw the gun, as the jury believes, there would have been fingerprint evidence.

The conclusion has deepened the mistrust of police on the streets on Tottenham.

Derek Roberts’ son was a friend of Mark. He told Socialist Worker, “I remember very clearly when the shooting happened. My son said to me, ‘Dad I know him, that’s my mate’.

“The police locked down the streets soon after.

“I remember getting done under the sus laws back in 1980 when I was just walking down the streets with my friends. I couldn’t believe it.

“Now I’m scared to walk down Tottenham High Road because the streets are so hot – there seems to be a cop on every corner.”

Vigil for Mark Duggan - 11 January, 2pm
Tottenham police station, 398 High Rd, London N17 9JA

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