Mark Duggan: jury says killing by police was 'lawful'

Killing of 29 year-old whose death sparked London riots was lawful even though he wasn't holding gun when shot

Mark Duggan

MARK DUGGAN, the man whose death sparked the London riots, was lawfully killed by police even though he was not holding a gun when he was shot, a jury has concluded.

The verdict sparked angry scenes at London's Royal Courts of Justice this afternoon as members of Duggan's family shouted abuse at jurors. One man left the court saying: "A black life ain't worth nothing," the BBC reports.

After hearing months of evidence about the August 2011 shooting, the jury concluded by eight to two that the 29-year-old's killing was lawful. The two dissenting jurors gave an open verdict.

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But the jury found by the same margin that when Duggan was shot he was not holding a gun. Jurors concluded that Duggan had a gun in the minicab in which he was travelling, but he threw it away before police pulled the vehicle over.

Duggan was hit by two shots fired in quick succession. The first struck him in one of his biceps and the second went through his chest, killing the father-of-four. The officer who shot him claimed he opened fire in self-defence when he saw Duggan point a gun at him.

A pistol, wrapped in a dark sock, was later recovered between 10ft and 20ft away in a grass area behind a wall.

There were chaotic scenes in the Royal Courts of Justice as the jury's conclusion was read out. Duggan's brother, Marlon, shouted at the jurors as they hurried out and his mother, Pamela, collapsed.

Duggan's brother shouted: "F--- them!" as the jurors left the court, while other supporters yelled: "Murderers!"

The jury, which began hearing evidence in September, was told to consider several questions, including whether Duggan had a gun, whether a gun was in his hand when he was shot and how a gun came to end up in a grassy area near where he was shot.

These are their conclusions:

  • The jury unanimously found that the Metropolitan Police Service and Serious Organised Crime Agency did not do enough to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Duggan collecting a gun.
  • The jury unanimously agreed that the stop was conducted in a location and in a way so as to minimise recourse to lethal force.
  • The jury unanimously agreed that Duggan had the gun with him in the taxi immediately before the stop.
  • A majority of 9-1 jurors concluded that Duggan threw the gun into the grass area where it was later found.
  • The jury found by an 8-2 majority that when Duggan received the fatal shot, he did not have the gun in his hand.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, which is also investigating the shooting, issued a statement after the jury's conclusion was announced. It said: “We note the inquest jury's determination and findings and we are considering them as a matter of urgency in relation to our ongoing investigation. A full statement will follow.”

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