9 Jan 2014

Duggan vigil will be ‘peaceful’

Two years after a vigil for Mark Duggan sparked riots, his family say they will hold a second this weekend. Duggan’s family want to remember his life, after a jury ruled his killing by police lawful.

The family of Mark Duggan will hold a vigil for him in London this weekend to remember the 29 year old’s life and death. In 2011 a vigil just after Mr Duggan was killed sparked off a series of riots in north-east London that spread throughout the country.

The Rev Nims Obunge, who buried Mr Duggan, gave a message from his family:

“The message from the family is that this vigil is intended to be a very peaceful vigil. We expect that anybody who would come would stand with the family. It is a vigil in remembrance and respecting the life and death of Mark Duggan. His children will be there, and we don’t expect anybody to come to where Mark Duggan’s children are to create unrest or anarchy.”

“We don’t expect anybody to come to where Mark Duggan’s children are to create unrest or anarchy” Rev Obunge

Responding to the trial verdict The Prime Minister has called for calm, speaking this morning. Mr Cameron said he hoped people would respect the “proper judicial process” and welcomed the stance taken by Mr Duggan’s aunt Carole, who said she wanted “no more violence”.

Speaking to BBC London, he said: “I very much respect Mark Duggan’s aunt for saying they want to pursue their case through the courts rather than on the streets, I think that’s absolutely right.

“These issues raise very strong emotions but I hope people can react calmly and recognise that we have proper judicial processes in this country and they are the ones that must be followed and respected.”

Cameras on cops

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will meet community leaders on Thursday to discuss how the police can build better relationships with the public following the verdict.

The shooting of Duggan led to a “significant reduction in trust” between London’s black communities and the police, Sir Bernard said.

It comes after family and friends of Mr Duggan reacted with fury on Wednesday when an inquest jury found he was lawfully killed by a police marksman, despite him being unarmed when he was shot.

They branded police “murderers” and hurled abuse as the jury of seven women and three men gave their conclusions at the historic Royal Courts of Justice.

Senior officers want to use the camera technology from April.

Factcheck: Does putting cameras on cops make them behave better? 

‘Build trust’

Sir Bernard said: “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. But I recognise that some in the community are still angry at Mr Duggan’s death.

“In particular, I know that we have much work to do with black Londoners to build trust and confidence in the Metropolitan Police.

“We know that the arguments will continue about what happened in this case. So we appeal for a balanced debate about the risks to the public from gun-crime.

“My officers do not set out to run an operation that results in someone dying. They are brave people who risk their own lives to keep the public safe. Like me, they will never stop trying to reduce the risk of injury or worse. But they can only so if we continue to have the support of all communities in London.”

He will today meet political representatives from London and local community leaders from Tottenham to discuss how the police can build better relationships and said he is “open to ideas and advice”.

Tottenham riots

Mr Duggan, whose death sparked protests that exploded into riots and looting across the country, was gunned down when police stopped the taxi in which he was travelling in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011.

At the culmination of the four-month inquest, the jury found that although the 29-year-old had a gun in the minicab, he most likely threw it onto a nearby grass verge as soon as the car came to a stop.

Their decision sparked angry scenes outside the court building, where Mr Duggan’s family claimed he was “executed” and branded the judgment “perverse”.

Mr Duggan’s aunt Carole Duggan said: “The majority of the people in this country know that Mark was executed. We are going to fight until we have no breath left in our body for Mark and his children.”

His brother Shaun Hall said: “We came for justice today, we don’t feel we are leaving with justice.”

Police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it was looking at new evidence that had emerged from the inquest, and the Duggan family are now considering whether to try to get the inquest conclusion judicially reviewed.