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Tottenham MP David Lammy says Metropolitan Police "not unscathed" by outcome of Duggan inquest
5:24pm Wednesday 8th January 2014 in News
Tottenham MP David Lammy has said his thoughts are with the family of Mark Duggan – but called for the jury’s findings to be respected.
The Labour MP, who was born in Tottenham and has represented the constituency since 2000, said aspects of the verdict were "perplexing", further clarification of events was "essential" and that the reputation of the Metropolitan Police had not emerged unscathed.
And he called into question the Independent Police Complaints Commission's ability to answer "serious" questions that remained unanswered.
Mr Duggan’s shooting in 2011 sparked riots in Tottenham that led to looting around the UK. The jury in the 29-year-old’s inquest today recorded an open verdict, finding that he was lawfully killed by an 8-2 majority.
But they unanimously found police did not do enough to minimise recourse to lethal force when they stopped the minicab Mr Duggan was travelling in on August 4, 2011.
They unanimously agreed Mr Duggan had the gun with him in the cab, and a majority of 9-1 found he threw the gun into grass nearby before he was shot.
An 8-2 majority found he did not have the gun in his hand when he was shot.
In a statement on his website the Labour MP wrote: “My thoughts are with the family of Mark Duggan this evening. This inquest has been an exhausting and emotional process for all involved and the family will tonight feel that they are no closer to achieving justice for Mark.
“This inquest was the necessary next step in uncovering the facts that led to the shooting, and it was right that the deliberations were held in public. It is crucial that police officers are scrutinised and held to account for their actions, and this inquest has achieved that. This was a ten-person jury that heard over three months of evidence, testimonies and expert accounts and took seven days to reach a decision. The issues have been thoroughly discussed and debated, and the jury’s findings should be respected.
"Despite this verdict, the reputation of the Metropolitan Police has not emerged unscathed. The jury found that a number of key errors were made by Operation Trident and SOCA officers in the hours leading up to the shooting. There are fundamental and lingering issues that the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation – now re-opened – must attempt to clarify. These questions must be answered not just for the sake of the Duggan family but to diffuse the confusion, conjecture and suspicion that continue to surround the events of that August evening. The Duggan family’s sorrow and anger was palpable in court this afternoon and it is a feeling that will inevitably be reflected in the wider community. Further clarification on the events surrounding Mark Duggan’s shooting is essential to enable the relationship between the community and the police to move forward.
"There are aspects of this verdict that are somewhat perplexing and seemingly contradictory to those of who us who have carefully followed the proceedings over the last few months. A number of serious questions remain unanswered.
“It remains to be seen whether the IPCC will be well-placed to answer these questions. It has become clear, in the two years since the Duggan shooting, that Britain does not currently have the strong, efficient and independent regulatory body that is necessary for the public to have full confidence in the police.
“Policing in this country, as in any democracy, depends on consent, trust and legitimacy. The shooting of Mark Duggan exposed just how fragile these bonds are. I have seen first-hand in Tottenham how, when efforts are made on both sides, these relationships improve significantly. It is imperative that this process now continues with renewed vigour.”
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