Mark Duggan – Killed Lawfully?

Over two years later, finally the inquest into the death of Mark Duggan has come to an end. The jury made up of ten random Londoners decided that Mark Duggan did not have a gun on him when he was shot and killed by a police officer in August 2011. Despite this the IPCC has came to the conclusion that Duggan was killed lawfully. I find the outcome quite shocking, as have the family of Duggan and hundreds of others.

When somebody makes a mistake, which leads to a criminal offence, they have to face the consequences. A punishment is given to everybody who is found guilty of committing an criminal offence. The difference here is that this officer is not being punished for his mistake. The officer believed that Duggan had a gun-this was the officer’s mistake. He went ahead and shot him and he died as a consequence. Of course being an armed officer, he is permitted to shoot if the subject is a threat. But with no gun, where is the threat? So this police officer mistakenly thought Duggan was a threat. Any mistake anyone makes in a court of law, they are punished for. This wasn’t a court of law though, this was the police investigating the police in reality.

There are discrepancies in this case, and the question I want to ask is whether Duggan, a black man, would still be alive today if he was white? A question that can never be answered, but one we should all stop and think about. As someone from an ethnic minority, cases like this really worry me. It’s 2014 and the majority of the black community believe the outcome of the inquest was completely wrong and a big cover up. This is bad news for London. Whatever happens next, with the family promising to fight for Duggan’s innocence, the relationship between the police and the black community has been severed.

Also we musn’t forget that it wasn’t just Mark Duggan who was killed that summer. His killing whether lawful or unlawful is also responsible for the events that lead to the murder of three men in Birmingham six days dater who were protecting their community from rioters. Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir were violently run over and left to die by a group of men taking part in the riots. One split second judgement made by one marked policeman can yield such destruction is actually pretty terrifying.

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London Riots Day 4

Complete anarchy seems to have been unleashed at nighttime on to the streets of London and other cities around England. The video of a bleeding teenager being robbed by passers by (which has now been removed from YouTube but can be seen on the Telegraph website) shows the sheer immorality, selfishness and wickedness of some of these vandals that have been causing all this violence in our cities. With no disregard for other people’s properties, businesses or lives, we have to question and understand why this lack of empathy and disregard for the law, exists.

I’ve heard many of these youths are committing these crimes as a way of protesting against the police. It is there way of getting back at the police, which they believe are racist. It is certainly true that black men are stopped and searched more than any other minority group. Harrowing as it maybe to be constantly accused of being a criminal, does it justify the violence we’ve seen in the last 3 days? No, but it may help us understand the motives of the initial perpetrators. The jury seems to be out on the fact that the looters in the last two night are solely opportunists trying to steal as many goods as they can.
After Saturday night’s riots in Tottenham, the police’s ‘softly softly’ approach provoked these delinquents into going one step further. They must have realised that the police are not actually going to use any force. You can go and hurl a stone at a policeman and he would stand there and not retaliate. I saw this on television myself. This gave them the green light to start spreading their violence across London. If there are too many rioters and not enough police then really they can do what they want. And they have. It is truly despicable.
Finally this afternoon the Metropolitan Police have said that they are prepared to use batons and plastic bullets. I think they should go further than that. These people have shown they are fearless animals who don’t care about the police. Perhaps a warning and then half an hour later teargas? That may keep them away.

Most importantly, where are the parents of all these kids? Why are they not questioning the whereabouts of their children? On the other hand, if your eighteen year old wants to go out, you can’t physically stop them from walking out the door. But some of these kids are younger. Do parents have such little control over their kids, these days?

David Cameron was right, we live in a broken society, and now we are suffering the consequences. Let’s hope Cameron can do something more than he already has -which is actually nothing, to sort this country out. In the meantime, let’s pray for London.

London Riots 2011

Tonight marks the 3rd nights of riots, in London. Looters, thugs, criminals or all of the above involved in causing havoc and chaos. What started of as a peaceful protest in Tottenham has escalated into full on rioting and criminality across London. The scary thing is no-one really knows how to stop it. Watching pictures on the news channels is truly shocking, buildings alight, shop windows smashed and people vandalising police cars.

From everything I’ve seen and heard, it seems to be a load of young people having a laugh and trying to trash whatever they can and steal as much as they can. For the simple reason, that they can and will get away with it. Talk about cuts and disfranchised youths is nonsense. This is pure opportunism and criminality. Yes there are young people who are fed up and depressed about their future, but the ones who care about their future are not the ones responsible for this rioting. There are young people in England who live in ‘relative poverty’ and come from dysfunctional families. They may carry guns and knives and belong to gangs, but that does not give them an excuse or a right to commit these sorts of crimes. You can tell by the types of shops being looted, that these thugs are trying to simply get their hands on those goods which enhance their street cred and can be sold on to make a few quid. Some of these youths are so stupid that they haven’t even bothered to disguise themselves when making videos on their mobile phones.
Another point is that I don’t believe this is a black issue. Many of the youths rioting and looting are white as well as black. Some of the areas affected, like Croydon and Hackney do have a large black population but the actual looters are not only black.
Mark Duggan’s death, the catalyst which started the riots, is being investigated by the IPCC. Today it emerged that Duggan may not have fired at the police first, as was first stated. The Met Police have finally apologised to the family for not handling the family’s needs effectively.
The first night’s riots in Tottenham seemed to come from a frustrated community with a few opportunists looting and causing trouble. The next two nights seem wholly disconnected from the Mark Duggan killing. It is a shame that his family’s sorrow has been overtaken by rioting which have nothing to do with his death. Whether the police were acting in self defence the night they shot Mark dead, remains to be seen. I for one will be waiting patiently to hear the result of the IPCC investigation.