Mark Duggan Inquest: Another Whitewash as Jury Finds Unarmed Duggan Killed Lawfully


This afternoon, the Mark Duggan Inquest has concluded that officers who shot Duggan dead on Tottenham in August 2011, acted lawfully. The Jury voted 8-2 that although Duggan was unarmed, and did not present an immediate or real threat to the police – the police were right to kill him at the time.  After the deaths of Jean Charles De Menezes, Ian Tomlinson and Sean Rigg – are british police able to kill with impunity?

The Verdict

The Independent reports:

The inquest into Mr Duggan’s death began in September and, before the jurors retired last month, Judge Keith Cutler told them to reach their decisions “calmly and coolly on the evidence” as he began summing up the case.

He has since directed the panel of 10 that they may reach conclusions and findings on which at least eight of them are agreed.

Judge Cutler told the jury it may reach one of three possible conclusions: that the 29-year-old was killed unlawfully, or killed lawfully, or an open conclusion.

The jury came back with a majority of 8-2 that the killing of Mark Duggan was lawful, as his family and friends shouted ‘No!’ from the public gallery.

The Death of Mark Duggan

On 4th August 2011, Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in a taxi in Tottenham.  Police intercepted Duggan while on a journey by minicab; Duggan was shot twice and killed by a shot to the chest.

The Metropolitan Police issued statements reporting that Duggan had shot at police, a police officer surviving only because the bullet wedged in his radio, and Duggan’s illegal firearm was found at the scene.

However, on closer investigation, a ballistics report demonstrated the ‘jacketed round’ embedded in the radio was police issue, fired by a police issue gun and most likely rebounded after being fired by the officers at the scene.

Furthermore, the gun which Duggan has purchased earlier that day ,had not been fired, and was wrapped in a sock inside a cardboard box metres away from the minicab.

Video footage and live witnesses of the incident also indicate that Mark Duggan was surrendering to police at the time of the shooting.

This is not to say that Duggan should not have been arrested, interviewed and charged if necessary.  His own mother told the inquest he “may not have been an angel”.  But he certainly did not need to be shot dead.

The Duggan family and supporters have campaigned for justice ever since, and it is important to remember that the London Riots were sparked Tottenham protests over Duggan’s death – the biggest civil unrest in the UK for nearly a century.

What Now?

Our first thoughts must of course be with the family of Mark Duggan, who have lost a loved one. His family gave an emotional speech outside London’s Royal Courts of Justice, and one of his supporters was heard to shout “a black life aint worth nothing‘.  As so many cases before Mark Duggan, somehow, despite finding that he did not deserve to be shot – no one will be held culpable for his killing.  No one underestimates the stress that police are under, and the incredible pressure of that split second decision making.  But in the case of Duggan and so many others, officers shoot to kill first and think later.  If the police force and the justice system are failing to hold these officers to account – what hope is there that this behaviour will change?


62 thoughts on “Mark Duggan Inquest: Another Whitewash as Jury Finds Unarmed Duggan Killed Lawfully

  1. Pingback: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to verdict of lawful killing | Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice

  2. There has been 19 unlawful or suspected unlawful killing by police, since 1990 excluding Joy Gardner and jimmy Mubenga,who died while being restrained by immigration officials,

    10 of the unlawful killing have seen( will see prosecutions, this includes Anthony grainier and Azelle Rodney ) of the other 9 ,either never saw unlawful verdicts, but saw a criminal trial where the police were cleared,or in a Harry Stanley .Leon Patterson and Roger Sylvester’s cases, saw the original decision over turned,or in Ian Tomlinsons case saw the police officer acquitted of manslaughter at court,

    of the 9 unlawful verdicts that still stand, where the case collapsed or there wasn’t the evidence(rightly or wrongly) one was white,eight black,

    There has been 33 police who’ve died in the line of duty since 1990

    There has been over 800 unlawful deaths in the NHS since 1990,

  3. Duggan was executed by a rogue police officer. That is my own personal verdict. You have every right to dispute my verdict but you will be wasting your time, like the Duggan family at the official inquest where no blame can be attached to any police officer. Then again, Duggan was in possession of a firearm, which he disposed of when he knew the police were on to him. The police must have seen the box containing the gun being thrown from the taxi, so they knew he was unarmed. This evidence is based on my experience as a driver and someone tosses a cigarette packet from the vehicle in front of me, you would have to be practically blind not to see a box many times larger than a cigarette packet being thrown from a vehicle in front of you. Case closed.

  4. Trigger happy cops getting more like American police. I have a lot of sympathy with the police, who do a dangerous job, very well, usually, but I think they were in the wrong on this occasion. I also think there is much more to this case than is generally known.

  5. My understanding is that Mark Duggan only had one conviction for the possesion of Cannabis. We only have the word of the police that he ever possessed a gun.

    In any event, it can never be right that someone can kill another person, simply because they believe that their life is in danger, without some evidence to support their view, such as they are being shot at, or they see a gun aimed at them. Neither is it necessary for trained firearms police officers to shoot to kill. If the law supposes that such an event is lawful, the law is an ass, and needs to be changed.

  6. The family should all have been done for contempt of court and sentenced to the maximum term possible to teach them they cannot just mouth off because some relative done wrong.

  7. I can’t recall a case were the firearms police have ever been prosecuted its always been covered up…….what a sad miscarriage of justice for the boys family and friends…police u should be ashamed……

  8. If you are known to previously have dealing with illegal guns and crime then you should not be shocked if you get shot, if he had never owned a gun it wouldnt have happened. Quite simple really. Society is not a theatre of war and people should not encourage those that deal with illegal firearms. the police should be more harsh with those posing a threat to innocent people and softer with others

    • Mr E Green your statement is wrong. Mr A Rodney was shoot dead by police in tottenham north London in 2005 by a police officer who had previously killed two other men. Mr Rodney had never been involved with the police before nor did he have a criminal record so you should revise your comments and do some real research before posting your comment next time because from you have said to what I have said means your comment is invalid and lacks fact and clarity.

  9. Let’s be honest, even if all the police claims were true, those cops were NEVER in serious danger and they knew it well. Several trained killers with semi-auto carbines and full body armour vs an untrained civilian with an unreliable handgun and one bullet? He had no chance.

  10. Duggan, was a sacrificial pawn, the police were having big time cuts to the police force that were coming in, the police had to create a situation of quasi anarchy, for law and order to break down, as you are aware the police stood by whilst looters and burning took place and refrained from taking steps to prevent this, the police required to create fear for the public to come on side with police, as you can see in footage a rifle being shot in to the air as a play act set up by police for media sensationalism, the public respond to tactics and hype, set up by the ruling authorities, and their is a constant showing of movies and so on depicting fear for the benefit of entering the minds of people to manipulate their perceptions, this is a classic example of how the mind is manipulated by police, media, and culture, this is the sort of propaganda put out by psychiatric advisers to government on control.

  11. I will not comment on the killing but the fact that Mark Duggan did purchase gun and acted highly suspiciously/ erraticaly…

  12. This is fucked up the ”system” is fucked he was un armed so why did they shoot him they say it was lawful killin are they having a laugh I hope it sparks another riot and on tottenham police station dis time they protected that station like it was buckingham palace the fuckers but couldn’t stop all the shops and houses from being burnt down funny dat there is no system u will never win against the police no chance my heart goes out to he’s mother and marks children xx

  13. Pingback: Mark Duggan family reacts with fury to inquest verdict of lawful killing | Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign for Justice

  14. Considering all the evidence and police retraction this has to be the worst miscarriage of justice by a British jury in my life time.

  15. Pingback: Mark Duggan Inquest: Another Whitewash as Jury Finds Unarmed Duggan Killed Lawfully | Stop Making Sense

  16. “gun found in a box meters away” “unarmed” “surrendering” surly that would be enough to put a unlawful killing verdict? why he had a gun is another story…

  17. Why did Duggan need a gun ? Maybe the police have prevented some other innocent from being killed. Nobody who is law abiding NEEDS a gun.

    • So preventing another death they take his that don’t make sense police need to be accounted for coz one of them gets it then it’s another story!!

    • Regardless if he had one he weren’t aiming it maybe the police should go around shooting anyone they think is dangerous. There are codes and laws and procedures they have to follow otherwise they are no better than the criminals on the streets. Just vigilantes in uniforms.

    • If you think anybody should be shot dead for any reason without being offered help first then you are the problem with this world.

    • I knew someone would say that sooner or later. Invoking the ‘preventative principle’ is an open door to the police doing whatever they like to whomever they like whenever they like, and always saying afterwards, “Well, we believed he was dangerous.”

      “Nobody who is law-abiding NEEDS a gun”
      Is that so? Why did the Trident police officers have guns then?

  18. I can only think that the police were so hungry for the chance to kill some one, that all other ideas left their heads. But what goes on in these jury rooms? Did they not even look at the evidence? I fear they had decided that MD was the ‘bad guy’ and the police were the ‘good guys’ before the trial even started, and the evidence was irrelevant. Praise to the two who resisted.

    • What if you DON’T have a gun, but the police THINK you do, and they shoot at you? This is what happened to Duggan. (The Inquest jury concluded that he had thrown the gun away, but without any witness claiming to have seen him do so, and without any of his DNA being found on it. The only thing that was firmly established was that Duggan had come into possession of a gun at some time on that day, and no one has been able to pin down exactly when he parted company with it.)

      Do you just have to accept being shot at by the police on a hunch?

      You should think a bit harder before proudly endorsing ‘zero tolerance’ attitudes.

    • He did not have it on him or aim or fire it at police it was found away from him in a sock and a box clearly he had no intentions using it on the police they fired cause they wanted to so u saying he had a gun but he never used it or tried to as a matter of fact the gun was tested and was never fired un used he was still killed they done it cause they could that’s why

  19. It is what you expect. I was told that in 40 years of people been killed by the Police in custody and in similar situation to Mark Duggan that not one police officer has been held liable for his actions.

    • I’m glad someone mentioned that, it seems to be causally forgotten about. The officer who was actually involved didn’t change his story, he was entirely consistent that he was sure Duggan had a gun. The IPCC put out some rubbish they later apologised for and as tends to happen in the aftermath of confused incidents a combination of wrong information from Met press liaison and selective sensationalised media reporting of what little information there was led to incorrect rumours circulating. None of that is controlled by or the fault of the officer who pulled the trigger and it was his actions being examined at the inquest. It disappoints me a bit that this blog which so often has fact and reason firmly on its side has posted such a biased version of events without any critical analysis of why a jury came to the conclusion they did. On the balance of probabilities the cop who fired had an honestly held belief that he was in danger. That’s what the jury found, nothing more sinister than that, and it isn’t an unreasonable finding.

      • If the police who shot Duggan, assumed he had a gun, and shot him once that would be enough to disable him being unable to use the supposed weapon alleged, to fire twice has one motive, dead men no longer speak, the intention is clear to most people.

  20. disgusting … just disgusting… police have become the killing squad and they are taught to fear instead opportunity to make a difference. and change for the better. I say lets not pay them any money anymore.. if its going to be they are the danger.. let them go.

  21. Pingback: Mark Duggan Inquest: Another Whitewash as Jury ...

    • I am aware that the Jury in the Duggan case was composed of 2 men and 8 women (why not 50/50??), however how many of them were coloured or of mixed race? Is it possible that the composition of the Jury affected the decision?

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