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IPCC watchdog 'sorry' for falsely claiming Mark Duggan had shot at cop

The investigation into Mark Duggan’s death has raised many questions, writes Annette Mackin

Issue No. 2387

Many people want justice for Mark Duggan

Many people want justice for Mark Duggan

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has apologised to Mark Duggan’s family for falsely claiming he had shot at police before police killed him.

Scotland Yard has also admitted that it was supposed to review its use of “hard stops” in 2005 but failed to do so.

Hard stops are when police vehicles surround a car to force it to stop, as occurred in Mark’s case.

The IPCC’s apology came on Tuesday of last week as Mark’s family met IPCC representatives. The meeting was to discuss the next stages of the investigation into the circumstances surrounding Mark’s shooting.

This followed an inquest jury’s conclusion that police had “lawfully killed” Mark. The conclusion was reached despite serious inconsistencies in evidence presented to the inquest.

The IPCC said it will now interview “key witnesses” who had previously declined to speak and those whose accounts were “inconsistent with other evidence”.

It also said that it now “expects” police officers to cooperate with the investigation, although some have so far refused to answer questions.


A flurry of news stories has attempted to make the IPCC appear as a neutral body tackling Mark’s family’s concerns. But it has been closely involved in the police investigation since he was killed.

It issued the initial—and wrong—report stating that Mark had shot first. It had to retreat from this when forensic evidence showed that a bullet lodged in an officer’s radio was police issue.

Like the Met, the IPCC did not contact Mark’s family immediately after his death. Instead his family had to read news stories which smeared Mark as a “gangster”. 

There were queries as to how a gun was found more than seven metres from where Mark was shot. Yet the IPCC did not instruct for officers’ DNA or fingerprints to be taken.

And after the killing of Mark, officers involved were allowed to sit in a room together for hours after the shooting and write their statements.

The IPCC has occasionally made recommendations on police tactics, such as to review hard stops after police killed Azelle Rodney in 2005. 

But the same tactic led to the death of Mark in 2011 and to Anthony Grainger in 2012. Anthony was shot through the chest by a police marksman while sitting in his car in Cheshire.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announced last week that the police marksman who shot Anthony would not face any charges. 

Yet the CPS said the chief constable of Greater Manchester Police, Sir Peter Fahy, will be charged under health and safety legislation because of poor police planning.

Wes Ahmed, Anthony’s cousin, said, “This decision has ripped us to pieces. When it comes to a death in custody the system protects the police. This is not justice. There is no justice in this country.”

Justice for Mark Duggan—public meeting. Thursday 30 January, 7pm, North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Road, London N17 6PY.

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Tue 21 Jan 2014, 17:01 GMT
Issue No. 2387
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