Thursday, 9 January 2014

Jury conclude that Mark Duggan was not holding a gun when shot but was ‘lawfully killed’

There is a wealth of commentary, reportage and analysis appearing around this verdict, but I am linking to Vikram Dodd’s report because it is well-informed and comprehensive.

I recommend also reading the jury’s actual conclusion.

The jury concluded that Mark Duggan had thrown the gun before being confronted by the police, but that the policeman (V53) who shot Duggan had an honest belief (even if mistaken) that he needed to use force to protect himself and his colleagues.

V53 said that he fired the shot because Duggan was holding a gun. How could the jury believe the officer’s ‘honest belief’, but not believe that he was right about the facts in his story?

Dodd reported that V53:

came across as a coherent witness and his performance on the stand played a substantial part in the lawful killing verdict.

The inquest was full of contradictory evidence which leaves crucial questions unanswered. Dodd highlights many areas of dispute and concern, such as:

Three days after the shooting, on 7 August, after Tottenham had burned and nearby Wood Green had been ransacked, the armed officers were allowed to sit together in a room at Leman Street station in east London for eight hours and write their full statements after conferring.

Stafford Scott, an active community member in Tottenham who is close to the Duggan family, raises more questions in his article.

Will the IPCC address these concerns and outstanding questions in their report? Will the truth ever come out?