Mark Duggan death: IPCC 'may have misled journalists'

Mark Duggan who was shot dead by police in Tottenham The police watchdog said there was no evidence Mr Duggan had fired at police

The police watchdog has admitted it may have misled journalists into believing police shooting victim Mark Duggan fired at officers before he was killed.

Mr Duggan, 29, was shot by officers last Thursday in Tottenham.

His death sparked the initial riots in London which were followed by disorder in other English cities.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission later released a statement to make it clear that Mr Duggan did not fire a gun at police.

Ballistic tests found that a bullet which lodged itself in one officer's radio was police issue.

It was reported by many media outlets at the time that a police officer had been shot before Mr Duggan was killed.

In other developments surrounding the riots in England:

The IPCC said in a statement on Friday: "Analysis of media coverage and queries raised on Twitter have alerted us to the possibility that we may have inadvertently given misleading information to journalists when responding to very early media queries following the shooting of Mark Duggan by Metropolitan Police Service officers on the evening of 4 August."

Police-issue bullet

It said the IPCC's first statement made no reference to shots fired at police.

But it said: "However, having reviewed the information the IPCC received and gave out during the very early hours of the unfolding incident, before any documentation had been received, it seems possible that we may have verbally led journalists to believe that shots were exchanged, as this was consistent with early information we received that an officer had been shot and taken to hospital.

"Any reference to an exchange of shots was not correct and did not feature in any of our formal statements, although an officer was taken to hospital after the incident."

Mr Duggan was a passenger in a minicab which was stopped by police near Tottenham Hale Tube station.

A non-police issue handgun, converted from a blank-firing pistol to one that shoots live rounds, was recovered close to the scene of his death.

(From left) Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir

Haroon Jahan, Shazad Ali and Abdul Musavir died when they were hit by a car during the disorder in Birmingham

The bullet lodged in the police radio was a "jacketed round", a police-issue bullet consistent with being fired from a Metropolitan Police Heckler and Koch MP5, the IPCC said.

An inquest into Mr Duggan's death, which opened at North London Coroner's Court in High Barnet on Tuesday, heard the father of four died from a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Mr Duggan's death sparked the riots in Tottenham, which were followed by disorder and looting in other parts of London and other English cities.

Richard Mannington Bowes, 68, was critically injured while he tried to stamp out a fire during riots in west London and later died.

Police have said four other deaths - a man found shot in a car in Croydon and three men hit by a car in Birmingham - may be linked to the recent disorder.

Home Secretary Theresa May said the high numbers of police officers on the streets will be "sustained" until further notice.

Speaking during a visit to Enfield, north London, Ms May said: "We have had some quieter nights but we are not complacent about that.

Car chase

"The police will maintain their tough arrest policy, their presence on the streets."

She said officers would be brought in from areas not affected by the riots to help maintain levels if necessary.

The number of officers patrolling the streets of London has almost trebled to 16,000 since last weekend to help tackle the violence.

Trevor Ellis, 26, of Brixton Hill, died after being found with bullet wounds in a car in Croydon, south London, on Monday night.

Initial inquiries suggested Mr Ellis and some friends were involved in an altercation with a group of about nine others. A car chase followed during which Mr Ellis was shot.

A 26-year-old man was arrested in Mitcham while a 24-year-old was arrested in Brighton and later released on bail.

Haroon Jahan, 21, Shazad Ali, 30, and Abdul Musavir, 31, were struck as they stood in a crowd on the pavement in Winson Green, Birmingham, on Tuesday night. They were protecting property at the time.

The inquests into their deaths were opened and adjourned on Friday.

Four people have so far been arrested in connection with their deaths.

More on This Story

England riots

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

17 °C 8 °C

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.