8 Sep 2011

Four officers under investigation for Duggan shooting

Not one, but four officers involved in the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan, an incident which sparked the London riots last month, are under investigation, Channel 4 News understands.

The 29-year-old was travelling in a taxi near Tottenham Hale in north London on August 5 when the car was stopped by police and he was shot.

An IPCC inquiry followed and was immediately criticised for, by its own admission, wrongly leading journalists to believe that Mr Duggan fired at officers before he was killed.

And it now appears that it is not just the role and conduct of one officer under investigation for the shooting, as had previously been thought, but four, Channel 4 News has learned.

Two of the officers are from the firearms unit and two from Operation Trident, the unit that investigates black on black violent crime.

Furthermore, it is understood that all four have been taken off operational firearms duties, which appears to dismiss earlier reports that the officer who shot him had been allowed back to full work duties before the results of the IPCC inquiry are published.

In leaks from official sources to The Times newspaper, it was suggested that the firearms officer will be cleared of any wrongdoing on the basis that he had “an honest-held belief that he was in imminent danger of him or his colleagues being shot”.

Tensions are believed to be running high in Tottenham on the eve of Duggan’s funeral, and one of the Metroplitan police’s most senior officers personally visited the family on Thursday at their home.

Channel 4 News understands that during the visit, the officer delivered an official denial that the firearms officer was about to return to operational duties.

In spite of the visit, Duggan’s family have accused officers of deciding to “shoot to kill”.

Speaking to The Guardian newspaper, Mr Duggan’s brother Shaun Hall, 42, said: “The police were clearly operating a shoot to kill policy that day.

“They are supposed to disable not kill suspects. If they hadn’t shot and killed Mark there would have been no riots.”

His mother Pam Duggan, 53, said: “I just want the police to admit that they killed my son. Why didn’t the police shoot him in the foot instead of in the chest?”

The Met are to deploy thousands of officers on Friday, many borrowed from other forces.

They would not say how many nor will the force confirm what Channel 4 News has learnt that every single police neighbourhood team across London has been alerted to the risk of disorder and increased tensions because of the funeral.

The Metropolitan police are not commenting on the case because it is the subject of the ongoing IPCC inquiry.