The death of Mark Duggan on August 4th 2011 sparked some of the worst riots seen in the UK for decades. One year on Blottr takes a look at the events, aftermath and implications of the disturbances in London last summer.
The wave of violence that was in part sparked by the police shooting of Mark Duggan spread throughout the capital and further afield, notably to Birmingham, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, and had a profound impact throughout the UK.
The circumstances surrounding the death of the 29-year-old father from Tottenham remain unclear, with eye witnesses giving conflicting statements, and statements from police providing no further insight. Fatally shot on Ferry Lane, close to Tottenham Hale train station, people who were at the scene say that the incident occurred while Duggan was being pinned down on the ground by police, others say he was warned several times to “Put it down”. The police officer who fired the fatal shot has said that he believed that he and his colleagues were in direct danger.
[Photograph shows Ferry Lane in Tottenham where Mark was shot on August 4 2011]
Following his death Duggan’s fiancé Semone Wilson told Channel 4 News, “They [the media] are portraying Mark as a gangster. Mark is not a gangster. He is not known to any gangsters or any gangs. He’s not like that”.
However, other reports suggest that Duggan was affiliated with to the North London ‘Star Gang’, and that his best friend, Kelvin Easton, who was murdered in March 2011, and he were known members of the ‘Gang N17 Farm’. The Guardian reported that at the time of his death Duggan was under investigation by the Met’s Operation Trident, the gun crime unit.
Police claim that they were attempting to arrest Duggan on suspicion of planning an attack, and also stated that he was in possession of a hand gun. Either way there seems to be little dispute that Duggan was not engaged in gun fire with police at the time of his death, raising serious concerns about the validity of the police action.
One year on the Met are yet to clarify the exact circumstances surrounding the young father’s death. However, the Independent Police Complaints Commission is set to complete its report into his death at some point in the next six weeks. An inquest is then set to take place in January 2013.
Yesterday, ahead of the anniversary, Duggan's mother, Pamela Duggan, spoke out against the continued silence over her son's death:
"The past 12 months have been terrible. We still have no answers about why my son died. Thirty-one police officers surrounded Mark and he was shot twice...People need to be held to account for my son's death. There needs to be a full inquest, in front of a jury of ordinary men and women, to find out the truth."
One year on, at the scene of the shooting all that remains is a pertinent sticker on a lamppost reading ‘RIOT FROM WRONG’ [pictured]. Answers have not been given, and many of the problems that led to both the killing of Mark Duggan, and the response from the local community remain unaddressed.