Mark Duggan Inquest

Mark Duggan Inquest

Mark Duggan Inquest.

The jury at the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan, who was shot by police, has reached its conclusion.

 Mark Duggan was killed in August 2011

Mark Duggan was killed in August 2011

The 29-year-old was shot dead by armed officers in August 2011 in Tottenham, north London.

His death sparked riots in Tottenham which then spread to a number of cities across England.

Jurors at the Royal Courts of Justice could decide he was killed lawfully or unlawfully, or return an open verdict. The decision will be made public later.

‘Evidence alone’

The inquest began in September and before the jurors retired last month, Judge Keith Cutler told them to reach their decisions “on the evidence and the evidence alone”.

Summing up the case last month, Judge Cutler told the jurors that they must be sure, “beyond all reasonable doubt”, that Mr Duggan was unarmed, in order to return an unlawful killing conclusion.

The judge also told the panel of 10 jurors that they may reach conclusions and findings on which at least eight of them are agreed.

The jury was instructed to consider several questions, including whether Mr Duggan had a gun, whether a gun was in his hand when he was shot and how a gun came to end up in a grassy area near where he was shot.

Judge Cutler also said jurors should examine whether the Metropolitan Police and the Serious Organised Crime Agency did “the best they reasonably could have done” to react to the intelligence that Mr Duggan had a gun.

Update

Mark Duggan killing lawful, says jury

Mark Duggan, whose death sparked riots in England in 2011, was lawfully killed by police, an inquest jury has concluded by a majority of 8 to 2.

The 29-year-old was shot dead by armed officers in August 2011 in Tottenham, north London.

Following the inquest at the Royal Courts of Justice, his aunt Carole Duggan said her nephew had been “executed”.

Mr Duggan’s brother Shaun Hall said: “We still fight for justice.”

There were angry scenes outside the courts, with supporters of Mr Duggan’s family chanting “murderers”, drowning out a statement by Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley.

‘Lethal force’

Jurors concluded Mr Duggan did not have a gun when he was shot by officers.

They also said it was more likely than not that Mr Duggan had thrown a gun from a taxi just before he was killed. The weapon was found about 20ft (6m) away from the scene.

Mark Rowley

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley was met with a barrage of chants

The panel of seven women and three men was asked to answer five questions:

  • In the period between midday on 3 August 2011 and when state amber was called at 6.00 pm on 4 August 2011, did the Metropolitan Police Service and the Serious Organised Crime Agency do the best they realistically could have done to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Mr Duggan collecting a gun from Mr Hutchinson-Foster? The jury said a unanimous no.
  • Was the stop conducted in a location and in a way which minimised, to the greatest extent possible, recourse to lethal force? Unanimous yes.
  • Did Mr Duggan have the gun with him in the taxi immediately before the stop? Unanimous yes
  • How did the gun get to the grass area where it was later found? A majority of 9 to 1 said it was thrown.
  • When Mr Duggan received a fatal shot, did he have the gun in his hand? A majority of 8 to 2 said no, he did not have a gun in his hand.

‘Worth nothing’

Following the verdict his mother, Pamela Duggan, was led out of the court in tears, while Mr Duggan’s brother was seen screaming and shouting.

One man shouted: “A black life ain’t worth nothing.”

Mr Duggan's family said he was "executed"

Mr Duggan’s family said he was “executed”

BBC News home affairs correspondent Dominic Casciani tweeted: “I don’t think I have ever heard of a jury, performing their civic duty, being abused in court by members of the public.”

Following the conclusion to the inquest, an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) spokesperson said: “We note the inquest jury’s determination and findings and we are considering them as a matter of urgency in relation to our ongoing investigation.”

‘No justice, no peace’

Outside court, his aunt Carole Duggan said: “The majority of people in this country know that Mark was executed.

“He was executed and we still believe that, and we’re going to fight until we have no breath in our body for justice for Mark, for his children, and for all of those (unclear) with deaths in custody that have had nothing.

“We are not giving up. No justice, no peace!”

Family lawyer Marcia Willis Stewart added: “We can’t believe this was the outcome. He had no gun in his hand, yet he was shot, he was murdered.

“To us, that is unlawful killing.”

Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, said Mr Duggan’s family were considering whether to apply for the decision to be judicially reviewed.

Mark Rowley

Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley attempted to read a statement outside court

Outside court, Assistant Commissioner Rowley attempted to read a statement which said the force had sympathy with Mr Duggan’s family.

“No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying,” he said.

He added that armed criminals had shot dead more than 50 people in the last three-and-a-half years.

“We send out well-trained, professional armed officers thousands of times a year to combat this threat, only firing shots once or twice. These careful tactics have significantly reduced gun crime.”

He added that the jury’s findings were significant.

“We know the trust is not shared by everyone.

“I will be offering to meet Mark Duggan’s family to express our sorrow. And we will continue working with local leaders to strengthen relationships. We know it will take time.”

‘Perplexing’

Tottenham MP David Lammy said the IPCC investigation had questions to answer, in particular what happened days before the shooting.

He said: “The Duggan family’s sorrow and anger was palpable in court this afternoon and it is a feeling that will inevitably be reflected in the wider community.

“Further clarification on the events surrounding Mark Duggan’s shooting is essential to enable the relationship between the community and the police to move forward.

“There are aspects of this verdict that are somewhat perplexing and seemingly contradictory to those of who us who have carefully followed the proceedings over the last few months. A number of serious questions remain unanswered.”

London Mayor Boris Johnson said: “This has been a difficult and tragic case for all involved and my sympathy today is with Mark Duggan’s family.

He added: “On any given day highly trained Metropolitan Police firearms officers can and do face life threatening situations in which they have to make instant judgements under incredible pressure.

“Yet in the last four years, having responded thousands of times, they have discharged their weapons on just six occasions.

A Home Office spokeswoman said it was “inappropriate to comment” while the IPCC was still carrying out its investigation.

BBC News correspondent Tom Symonds, who is in Tottenham, said the area was “very calm but has a high police presence”.

The Met said there was an operation in place across London this evening where they have the ability to deploy extra officers if needed.

After Mr Duggan was shot, rioting spread across London and other parts of England in what became some of the worst disturbances in decades.

The inquest began in September. Before the jurors retired for what was seven days of deliberation, Judge Keith Cutler told them to reach their decisions “on the evidence and the evidence alone”.

The coroner thanked the jury and told them they will be excused from future jury service for life if they want.

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