AFRICANGLOBE – Violence broke out today inside the court where the inquest concluded into the murder of Mark Duggan who was shot by police.
A growing crowd gathered briefly outside Tottenham Police Station, including his aunt, Carole, to show their anger at the decision.
They have now almost entirely dispersed outside the north London station.
Supporters of the father-of-six reacted angrily after the jury ruled that he was lawfully killed by British officers who stopped his taxi in August 2011.
His death sparked several days of riots in London and across much of the rest of the UK, and police fear there could be further disorder following the verdict.
After a three-month inquest, the jury decided today that Mr Duggan was unarmed when he was executed but police were right to use lethal force.
There were cries of ‘murderers’ from the public gallery and the dead man’s brother was heard shouting ‘f*** them’ at the 10 jurors as they left the court after the verdict.
Outbursts continued in the corridors of the Royal Courts of Justice and some supporters smashed a door before security staff were able to get to the scene.
Outside temperatures boiled over as Scotland Yard’s assistant commissioner Mark Rowley could barely be heard as he made a statement on the steps of the court as the crowd shouted ‘murderer’ and ‘murdering scum’.
The Metropolitan Police said they have been placed at a ‘heightened state of readiness’ for fresh disorder across London tonight following the verdict.
Mark Duggan’s aunt Carole claimed he was ‘executed’ while lawyer Marcia Willis Stewart said his family were in a state of shock and ‘can’t believe this has been the outcome’.
The jury claimed that Mark Duggan was armed before his taxi was stopped, but they said it was more likely than not that he had thrown the weapon onto a grassy area six metres away from the spot where he died.
Police officers told the inquest they saw Duggan holding a firearm before he was shot.
However, that was contradicted by eyewitnesses who said that he was clutching a mobile phone and appeared to be surrendering.
When he was stopped, Mark Duggan was being followed by officers who believed he planned to pick up a gun from another man, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, and then move on to Broadwater Farm, also in Tottenham.
The jury began its deliberations before Christmas following a three-month hearing at the Royal Courts of Justice in front of Coroner Keith Cutler.
The officer who executed Mark Duggan, referred to in court as V53, earlier in the case described the moment he opened fire.
He told the jury: ‘I’m hoping he’s going to drop it.
‘The next thing he does, he starts to move the gun away from his body.’
‘He’s raised the weapon, moved it a couple of inches away from his body.’
‘I’ve brought my weapon up and I’ve discharged one round and I’m aiming for the central body mass because I’m looking to shoot to stop.’
He bragged that the first bullet hit Mark Duggan in the chest and caused him to flinch but the gun, wrapped in a sock, was then pointing towards the marksman.
The officer fired a second shot, hitting Mark Duggan in the right bicep.
The officer added: ‘The Duggan family didn’t start the riots, I didn’t start the riots, but you can’t ignore the fact that London and the country’s burning, to a certain degree because of what’s happened.’
The Duggan family’s solicitor, Leslie Thomas, claimed that the gun had been planted by police, which one officer at the inquest described as ‘highly offensive’.
Police had claimed Mark Duggan was a drug dealer, linked to north London’s ‘Star Gang.’
The riots that followed spread across Britain and caused over £200million of damage and more than 1,000 people were charged.
Detective Chief Inspector Mick Foote, from the Met’s gang crime unit Trident, claimed that Mark Duggan was a ‘confrontational and violent’ member of Tottenham Man Dem, a gang allegedly associated with drug dealing and violence.
He claimed Mark Duggan was one of the 48 most violent criminals in Europe, and in 2011 was one of the targets of a police operation called Dibri set up to tackle a spike in gun related incidents in London nightclubs.
The officer said there was intelligence that Mark Duggan had shot someone in a nightclub and on another occasion fired a gun in a club car park.
The jury of seven women and three men, who heard the case at the Royal Courts of Justice, also found that police had not done enough to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Mark Duggan collecting a gun from Hutchinson-Foster.
But they found that the car had been stopped in a location and in a way that ‘minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force’.
Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley said in a statement: ‘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.
‘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.’
After the verdict, Mark Duggan’s aunt Carole Duggan said: ‘For as long as it takes, God give my family strength.
‘The majority of the people in this country know that Mark Duggan was executed.
‘We are going to fight until we have no breath left in our body for Mark and his children.’
Vowing not to give up, she added: ‘No justice, no peace.’
Later Mark Duggan’s mother told reporters she felt ‘terrible’ and ‘disgusted’.