Socialist Worker

Official report slams police over their actions in the aftermath of Mark Duggan's death

Mark Duggan’s coroner has said police actions after the killing allowed evidence to be destroyed and led to ‘distrust’, reports Annette Mackin

Issue No. 2407

Protesters demanding justice for Mark Duggan in January this year

Protesters demanding justice for Mark Duggan in January this year (Pic: Kelvin Williams)


An official report into the police killing of Mark Duggan has slammed cops for creating a “perception of collusion” in the aftermath of his death.

Keith Cutler was the coroner at the inquest into Mark’s killing. 

His report, published last week, raised eight concerns he has with the police and the police watchdog’s handling of the shooting in August 2011.

In January this year an inquest jury concluded that Mark was not holding a gun when police shot him dead.

But it also found the decision by police marksman V53 to open fire was lawful.

Cutler’s report raises a concern that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) did not have the resources to conduct a proper investigation of the scene.

This led to serious disruption of key evidence, such as a shoebox that cops said had contained a gun that was later found 7.34 metres away.

The shoebox was moved around, destroying evidence fibres.

Police allowed the minicab that Mark had been travelling in before his death to be moved to a car pound before full forensic examination could take place.

Cutler also criticised the fact that the scene was not officially video recorded.

Recorded

A key witness to the shooting, Witness B, recorded the aftermath of the killing on his phone from a nearby block of flats.

He was certain that Mark was holding up a Blackberry phone just before he was shot, not a gun as the marksman who killed him had claimed.

But investigators failed to record where Mark’s phone was found. Cutler said, “Much of this, and the distrust which it fostered, could have been avoided”.

The fact that the scene was not officially recorded added to questions about how the gun got to be over seven metres away from Mark, and who found it.

Serious discrepancies in police evidence only came to light due to Witness B’s footage.

The inquest heard that officers wrote up their accounts of the shooting over an eight-hour period, sitting together in a room. 

Cutler said, “The fact of the officers gathering in a room together for many hours to compile statements created a perception of collusion.”

A judicial review into the inquest conclusion into Mark’s death is due to take place on 9 and 10 July in London

If you enjoy Socialist Worker, please consider giving to our annual appeal to make sure we can maintain and develop our online and print versions of Socialist Worker. Go here for details and to donate.

Article information

News
Tue 10 Jun 2014, 20:37 BST
Issue No. 2407
Share this article


Tags



Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.