Death of Mark Duggan
Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old who lived in Tottenham, north London, was shot in Tottenham by a Metropolitan Police officer on 4 August 2011. Police had been trying to arrest Duggan because he had been carrying a handgun and they thought he was planning to shoot someone. Duggan died at the scene from a bullet wound to his chest. The 2011 England riots started on 6 August 2011 because of Duggan's death. They lasted until 11 August 2011. Five people were killed.
An inquest into Duggan's death began on 16 September 2013. On 8 January 2014 a jury decided that his death was a lawful killing. It was decided that it was lawful because the police officer who shot Duggan told the jury he believed that Duggan was holding a gun and was going to shoot it. Witness B said that Duggan was not holding a gun. He said that Duggan was holding a mobile phone. There was a gun in a sock 10–14 feet away from where Duggan was shot. The sock and the gun did not have Duggan's DNA on them. Duggan's family were angry about the jury's verdict.
Background[change | change source]
Tension with police[change | change source]
Duggan[change | change source]
Duggan was born on 15 September 1981 to a white mother, Pamela Duggan, and a black father, Bruno Hall. He grew up in Broadwater Farm. At age 13 he left home to live with one of his maternal aunts in Manchester. Duggan had three children with his partner Semone Wilson at the time of his death, as well as three other children by other women.
After his death police and other people said that he was a drug dealer. His family and friends said that he was not. Tony Thompson of the London Evening Standard wrote that Duggan may have been one of the first members of North London's "Star Gang". Duggan's family said that "He was not a gang member and he had no criminal record." Duggan had been convicted of having cannabis in 2000 and having things that he knew had been stolen in 2007. The Daily Mail said that he had also been arrested many times. The things he was arrested for included the murder of Gavin Smith and attempted murder. He was not charged with the murder of Smith because there was not enough evidence.
Shooting[change | change source]
Officers of the Metropolitan Police Service stopped a cab that was carrying Duggan as a passenger at about 6:15pm on 4 August 2011. They did this because they had been told that Duggan had a gun. A firearms officer said that Duggan got out of the cab and pulled a gun from his waistband. He then ran away. Police shot him twice. An eyewitness said that Duggan "was shot while he was pinned to the floor by police." Paramedics came, but he died before he could be taken to hospital. A 9mm gun was found 10–14 feet away from where Duggan was shot on the other side of the fence. Witnesses told the IPCC that they saw police throw the gun over the fence.
Aftermath[change | change source]
Police waited a day and a half to tell Duggan's family to tell them that Duggan was dead.
Riots[change | change source]
The 2011 riots started with the peaceful protest of Duggan's death. At about 5:30pm on 6 August 2011, Duggan's family and people living in the area marched from Broadwater Farm to Tottenham Police Station. They chanted "we want answers". Around 8pm a 16-year-old girl was beaten by police with a baton. A witness said that she had thrown something at the police. Around 8:20pm members of a crowd waiting to speak to a police officer set fire to two police cars. The next day people rioted in other areas of London. Most of the rioters were young men. On August 9 a man died after being shot in Croydon on August 8. On August 10 three men were killed in a hit-and-run. A man died on 8 August from injuries from an attack by a mob. By 15 August 2011, about 3,100 people had been arrested.
Media coverage[change | change source]
Duggan's death quickly became a big news story. Duggan was called a 'gangster' and a 'thug' by the Daily Mail. On September 8 2011 an article by Martin Samuda, a friend of Duggan, was published in The Guardian. Duggan's brother Shaun Hall also wrote an article for The Guardian in September 2013 which said that Duggan's family did not trust the police anymore.
Funeral[change | change source]
Father's death[change | change source]
In 2012 Duggan's father died from cancer.
Inquest[change | change source]
A public inquest into Duggan's death started on 16 September 2013. The jury learned that Duggan had been killed by a 9mm hollow-point round. A hollow-point bullet. Two witnesses said that they saw a police officer move something from the minicab to the place where the gun was found. Duggan's lawyers argued that police had put the gun found near where Duggan was killed there to make Duggan's killing look lawful. The officer who killed Duggan said Duggan was still holding a gun when both shots were fired. 9 of the jury decided that Mark Duggan threw the firearm on to the grass.
Protests[change | change source]
Verdict[change | change source]
On 8 January 2014 the jury decided that Duggan's death had been a lawful killing. People living in Tottenham said that there may be more riots because of this.
References[change | change source]
- BBC profile
- "Q&A: Operation Trident", BBC, 14 September 2006.