Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old father of four, was fatally shot last Thursday night in North London’s Tottenham Hale section. Duggan, who was a passenger in a minicab at the time of the shooting, was initially stopped as a part of an initiative to recover illegal guns in the area. Although an illegal firearm was found at the scene and initial reports suggested a gun was fired at police, The Guardian asserts that ballistic reports now show that all of the gunfire came from police.
The Guardian reports:
The Guardian understands that initial ballistics tests on a bullet, found lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday’s incident, suggested it was police issue – and therefore had not been fired by Duggan.
After Duggan was shot, his family and the Tottenham community were in shock. A peaceful protest was planned for Friday evening, and the family wanted to meet with police officials to get answers about the shooting. However, police reps refused to meet with them and the protests turned violent.
The Guardian continues:
Community leaders said they warned Tottenham police immediately before Saturday’s rioting that a peaceful protest over the fatal shooting could get out of control. More than 100 people who demanded to see a senior officer at Tottenham police station feared that if they were still there by nightfall it could cause problems in an area with tensions running high.
“It is unforgivable police refused dialogue,” said Stafford Scott, a community organizer. We know the history here – how can Tottenham have a guy killed by police on Thursday, and resist requests for dialogue from the community 48 hours later?”
Since the riots began on Friday evening in Tottenham, they’ve spread throughout London. Houses, cars, and businesses have been burned and at least hundred of people have been arrested. Looters have been smashing their way into stores and stealing merchandise and groups of rioters have been attacking police. Groups of young people, who say they are fed up by the treatment they receive by police, have been driving the riots.
Home Secretary Theresa May returned from vacation early to address the growing violence.
*Photos and video courtesy of the BBC.