Socialist Worker

After Duggan case, cops are Licensed to Kill

by Annette Mackin
Issue No. 2386

The vigil for Mark Duggan outside Tottenham Police station after the inquest result

The vigil for Mark Duggan outside Tottenham Police station after the inquest result (Pic: Kelvin Williams)


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A jury’s conclusion that Mark Duggan was “lawfully killed” when he was gunned down by cops shows that the police have a license to kill.

Mark was unarmed when he was shot. But the police were carrying multiple weapons.  

The officer who shot Mark was armed with a Glock 9mm pistol, a Taser and a Heckler & Koch MP5 carbine.

The jury didn’t agree with his claim that Mark had a gun. But now he’s free to return to armed duty.

The jury said that the officer had an honest but mistaken belief that Mark was a threat.

How can other black people now feel safe on the streets when it’s deemed “lawful” for police to assess them as a threat and open fire?

Cops in England and Wales have shot and killed 54 people since 1990. 

Not a single officer has been brought to justice for their deaths.

Even where juries rule that people were unlawfully killed, their families still wait for justice years later.

As long as police can gun down ordinary people in the street there can be no justice and no peace.


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