5 Aug 2011

MP calls for calm after north London street shooting

Tottenham MP David Lammy says it is “important our community remains calm” after a man was shot dead during an operation by police. A friend of Mark Duggan told Channel 4 News there may be unrest.

Police at the scene of Mark Duggan's shooting.

Officers from Operation Trident – the unit dedicated to dealing with gun crime in the black community – stopped a mini-cab in Ferry Lane on Thursday to carry out the arrest on 29-year-old Mark Duggan.

Two shots were fired by a Specialist Firearms Command Officer (CO19) and an illegal firearm was recovered from inside the car.

Mark Duggan died from gunshot wounds at the scene, and an officer was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure. Investigators recovered a police radio with a bullet lodged in it, suggesting the officer had narrowly avoided being killed.

The police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaint Commission, is investigating and has appealed for witnesses.

John Blake, who says he grew up with Mr Duggan on the nearby Broadwater Farm Estate, told Channel 4 News the incident has created tension on the estate – the scene of riots in 1985 that led to the death of PC Keith Henry Blakelock.

“There’s hostility here, there might even be an uprising here, you don’t know, Mark held Broadwater Farm together,” Mr Blake said.

Local MP David Lammy has responded, calling for calm.

There is now a mood of anxiety in the local community but everyone must remain calm. David Lammy MP

He said: “I am shocked and deeply worried by this news. There is now a mood of anxiety in the local community but everyone must remain calm.

“It is encouraging that the Independent Police Complaints Commission has immediately taken over the investigation. There is a need to clarify the facts and to move quickly to allay fears.

“It is very important that our community remains calm and allows the investigation to take its course.”

Harassment claims

Mr Blake also claimed that Mr Duggan had been a victim of police harassment.

“I know the police were harassing him, the police were following him,” Mr Blake said.

“If you’re from Broadwater Farm police are on you every day, you’re not allowed to come off the estate, if you come off the estate they follow you,

“It’s a product of our environment, we’re brought up in an area where police like to harass us,” Mr Blake continued.

IPCC spokesman David Nicholson told Channel 4 News the organisation would not comment on specific allegations whilst the investigation was underway and referred to an earlier statement.

Quoting IPCC commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne the statement said: “Fatal shootings by the police are extremely rare and understandably raise significant community concerns.”

“The IPCC investigates all fatal shootings – I know that independence is also vital for community confidence. I will make certain that this investigation is thorough and answers the many questions that everyone has when such an incident occurs,” it continued.

Paying tribute to his friend he said Mark Duggan was a well respected member of his community.

“Mark was a dad, he was a good person, he used to look after his kids, he used to organise fundraising days, he used be a person if there was any trouble he would stop it, if there was anybody fighting he would come in the middle of it and stop it.”

The IPCC is asking for anyone who witnessed the incident in Ferry Lane to contact them on 0800 0969079 or email ferrylaneshooting@ipcc.gov.uk.