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Anger as police cleared of shooting that sparked riots

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Mark Duggan's family. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Mark Duggan's family. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

Mark Duggan's family. Photo: Dan Kitwood/Getty Images

THE family of a man shot dead by police reacted with fury after an inquest jury ruled the killing lawful despite the victim being unarmed when he was hit.

Relatives of Mark Duggan called officers "murderers" and hurled abuse after the verdict was read out at the Royal Courts of Justice in London.

His brother Marlon shouted "f*** them" at the jury as they left the chamber, while angry supporters kicked a door.

Mr Duggan, whose death sparked riots and looting across England, was shot after police stopped a taxi he was in Tottenham in August 2011.

At the culmination of the four-month inquest, the jury found that although the 29-year-old had a gun with him, he most likely threw it onto a nearby grass verge as soon as the vehicle he was in stopped.

But their decision that the death was lawful was roundly attacked by the Duggan family, who may try to secure a judicial review into the judgement.

Mr Duggan's aunt Carole Duggan said: "The majority of the people in this country know that Mark was executed. We are going to fight until we have no breath left in our body."

Their solicitor Marcia Willis-Stewart added: "Today we have had what we can only call a perverse judgment.

UNLAWFUL

"The jury found that he had no gun in his hand and yet he was gunned down. For us that's an unlawful killing."

Assistant police commissioner Mark Rowley made a statement outside the court, but he was drowned out by angry protesters shouting "murderers" and "murdering scum".

As security staff attempted to disperse the crowd, chants of "liars" and "racists" rang out. Mr Rowley's statement, later released by Scotland Yard, read: "No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying.

"So our sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one.

"But the task our officers face in making split-second decisions when confronting armed criminals means there is a very small risk this will happen.

"Armed criminals have shot dead more than 50 people in London 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."

Mr Duggan was shot after being followed by officers who believed he planned to pick up a gun from another man, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, who has since been found guilty of supplying a weapon to him.

The jury found that police had not done enough to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Mr Duggan collecting the gun.

 

LETHAL

But they also ruled that the taxi he had been in was stopped in a way that "minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force".

The Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog said it was looking at new evidence that had emerged during the inquest.

Police increased their presence across London last night in a bid to prevent a repeat of the violent scenes seen in the aftermath of the shooting.

hnews@herald.ie


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