Mark Duggan inquest: Reaction to lawful killing conclusion
- 8 January 2014
- From the section London
Mark Duggan, whose death sparked the riots across England, was lawfully killed by the police, an inquest jury has concluded.
The 29-year-old was shot dead by armed officers in August 2011 in Tottenham, north London.
The inquest jury at the Royal Courts of Justice also ruled that he had a gun on him in a minicab he was travelling in, which he then "more likely than not" threw away when he was shot.
His family, the Metropolitan Police, politicians and community leaders were among those who reacted to the inquest's findings.
Mark Duggan's aunt Carole Duggan
"For as long as it takes, God give my family strength; not only the family, the whole of our legal team, the whole of our friends, the whole of the people that we don't even know that have supported.
"The majority of people in this country know that Mark was executed.
"He was executed and we still believe that, and we're going to fight until we have no breath in our body for justice for Mark, for his children, and for all of those (unclear) with deaths in custody that have had nothing.
"We are not giving up. No justice, no peace!"
Duggan family solicitor, Marcia Willis Stewart
"The jury found that he had no gun in his hand and yet he was gunned down.
"For us that is an unlawful killing.
"As you can see the family are in a state of shock. They can't believe that this has been the outcome."
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe
"The death of Mark Duggan in 2011 was a tragedy for his family and led to a significant reduction in trust between London's black communities and the Metropolitan Police.
"My sympathy is with Mr Duggan's family at the loss of their loved one, and with the communities affected by the consequences of his death.
"I welcome the verdict of a jury that our officers acted lawfully when they confronted an armed criminal who they believed posed a threat to them and to the public.
"In particular, I know that we have much work to do with black Londoners to build trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.
"We are already working with communities across our great city to achieve that, and we now appeal to all local leaders to help us in that.
"We know it will take time. We know it won't be easy."
Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley
"No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying. So our sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one.
"But the task our officers face in making split-second decisions when confronting armed criminals means there is a risk - a very small risk - that this will happen.
"Armed criminals have shot dead more than 50 people in London in the last three-and-a-half years.
"We send out well-trained, professional armed officers thousands of times a year to combat this threat, only firing shots once or twice. These careful tactics have significantly reduced gun crime.
"It is significant, then, that a jury of Londoners, who have seen and heard all the evidence, have today concluded that not only was the operation to stop Mark Duggan in the taxi conducted in a way which minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force, but that Mark Duggan had a gun, and also that our officer had an honest and reasonable belief that Mark Duggan still had the gun when he shot him.
"We know the trust is not shared by everyone. I will be offering to meet Mark Duggan's family to express our sorrow, and we will continue working with local leaders to strengthen relationships.
"We know it will take time."
David Lammy, Tottenham MP
"My thoughts are with the family of Mark Duggan this evening.
"This inquest has been an exhausting and emotional process for all involved and the family will tonight feel that they are no closer to achieving justice for Mark.
"Despite this verdict, the reputation of the Metropolitan Police has not emerged unscathed. The jury found that a number of key errors were made by Operation Trident and SOCA officers in the hours leading up to the shooting.
"There are fundamental and lingering issues that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation - now re-opened - must attempt to clarify.
"These questions must be answered not just for the sake of the Duggan family but to diffuse the confusion, conjecture and suspicion that continue to surround the events of that August evening.
"The Duggan family's sorrow and anger was palpable in court this afternoon and it is a feeling that will inevitably be reflected in the wider community."
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson
"This has been a difficult and tragic case for all involved and my sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one and it's right that Assistant Commissioner Rowley has offered to meet with them.
"On any given day highly trained Metropolitan Police firearms officers can and do face life threatening situations in which they have to make instant judgements under incredible pressure.#
"Yet in the last four years, having responded thousands of times, they have discharged their weapons on just six occasions.
"Londoners should feel assured that the police do an incredible job keeping this city safe.
"I am confident that the Metropolitan Police Service will continue to demonstrate the highest professional standards and after today's verdict continue to work closely with local leaders to strengthen the bond of trust between the police and the public they serve."
Nims Obunge, a pastor based in Tottenham
"I don't think even the police can regard this as a victory. I just think that collectively we all need to look at this in a sober way and say, what's the best way forward?
"The family will go for a judicial review, communities and members of communities need to try to work together.
"Ultimately the message is we've got to try to keep the peace, even though there's a question as to whether justice was served."
Ken Hinds, Tottenham community activist
"I'm beyond confused. I'm shocked, I'm mystified, I'm horrified that such a verdict could come about.
"It doesn't make sense. Since when can a person not have a gun on him and be shot dead and everything still be lawful? It fathoms belief.
"It's not surprising young people now tend to try and run away from the police and tend to have no faith in the police when it comes to stop and search.
"This is just going to put the relationship between young people - particularly young black men - and the police further back."
Roy Ramm, Former senior Scotland Yard Commander
"Scotland Yard would have liked a much clearer verdict. The comments of the jury that they didn't think that Duggan had a weapon in his hand when he was shot has obviously left doubts in everybody's mind about exactly what on.
"But I do think there is a sigh of relief in so much that there is a vindication of the operation."
Joanne McCartney, London Assembly police and crime spokeswoman
"We will be looking to the Independent Police Complaints Commission to clarify issues that have arisen as they complete their investigation.
"This must happen as a matter of urgency so that the Duggan family and the local community get answers to these crucial questions.
"In addition, now is the time to ensure that all firearms officers wear body-worn cameras as standard."
Diane Abbott, MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington
"There's going to be a lot of questions asked in the community this evening.
"We really do have to wait to see what the coroner says - the coroner says he has more to say on the way the case was handled - and what the IPCC says.
"But there is no question that the Duggan family is unhappy and tonight there will be questions asked."