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Police 'lawfully killed' unarmed Mark Duggan

DECISION MADE: Mark Duggan was lawfully killed a jury has decided

ARMED OFFICERS of the law opened fire and lawfully killed Mark Duggan who had no gun in his hand, an inquest jury has concluded.

Members of the inquest jury decided, with a nine to one majority, that Duggan threw the firearm over the fence to where it was recovered about 20ft away from where he was shot dead.

The lawful killing ruling was reached with an eight to two majority.

The jury said police did not do the best they could have done in the situation. Jurors decided police did not act appropriately with the intelligence gathered before the operation.

The long-awaited conclusions come after more than two years when the north London resident, 29, was shot dead by police in Tottenham during an operation led by armed officers.

His death in August 2011 resulted in unrest and riots that spread from London to other cities in England.

The decision of lawful killing was made by the 10-person jury, who have remained anonymous throughout the inquest, as have members of the armed police unit at the scene who provided evidence in court.


SHOOTING SCENE: Ferry Lane where Duggan was shot dead

Officers present when Duggan was shot dead maintained during hearing, which started last September, that their suspect was armed with a handgun before they opened fire, believing they were under threat.

Prior to the jurors retiring to make their conclusion, judge Keith Cutler told the jury that they must reach any verdict based “on the evidence and the evidence alone”.

Cutler accepted that a majority decision would be permitted; meaning eight members who agree are eligible to deliver a final conclusion to the court.

Over the course of the inquest, numerous witnesses, including science professors, medics and bystanders, have provided evidence and testimonies in court.

One eyewitness, who saw events unfold on August 4, 2011, in Ferry Lane from a flat overlooking the street, told the inquest that Duggan was holding a mobile phone when he was shot, not a firearm. He added that Duggan appeared to be surrendering to police.


SHOT DEAD: Mark Duggan was shot dead by police in August 2011

The taxi driver, who was carrying Duggan as a passenger in a minicab before police intervened with a hard stop, told the hearing that officers appeared “angry” and “shot him in the back”.

However, a female officer, who was at the scene but has since stopped working for the Metropolitan Police, claimed in an anonymous interview with the BBC that the shooting was “justified” because Duggan posed a “threat” to police. She added that Duggan would be alive today if he had complied with instructions from officers about exiting the taxi.

The Met claims Duggan was a “prominent” member of a criminal gang in north London.

Following Duggan’s killing, the Independent Police Complaints Commission had to apologise for how they treated the Duggan family because of the release of false information, including the mistake that Duggan opened fire at police.

Considerable national scrutiny has been focused on the inquest and its conclusion, largely because of how the killing sparked mass rioting across the capital and other urban centres and the issue of public trust in officers of the law.

Below are the full questions posed to the jury and their answer:

1. In the period between midday on August 4 and 6pm when a 'state amber' (when police have enough intelligence to arrest a suspect) was issued, did the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) and Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) do the best they realistically could have done to gather and react to intelligence on the possibility of Mark Duggan collecting a gun from Kevin Hutchinson-Foster

Answer: A unanimous no.

2. Was the stop conducted in a location and in a way which minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force. If no, what more could have been expected of them?

Answer: Yes to the first part, but jurors decided police failed to act to the best of their means with intelligence before Duggan was shot.

3. Did Mark Duggan have the gun with him in the taxi immediately before the stop?

Answer: Yes.

4. How did the gun get to the grass area where it was later found?

Answer: 9/1 of jurors said he threw it

5. When Mark Duggan received the fatal shot, did he have the gun in his hand?

Answer: 8/2 of jurors decided he did not have a gun in his hand

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