by Sonali Kombaj
The family of Mark Duggan, who was killed by the police in 2011, has launched a fresh appeal yesterday to overturn the inquest verdict of ‘lawful killing’.
The appeal came after the inquest jury deemed the killing as ‘lawful’ at the Royal Courts of Justice in January, despite an 8-2 majority concluding that Mr. Duggan was unarmed.
Michael Mansfield QC, representing the family asked in the High Court yesterday, “How is it a man who is manifestly unarmed can be lawfully shot?”
He further asked the judges to declare that coroner Judge Keith Cutler misdirected the jury.
Mark Duggan, whose death sparked nationwide riots, was 29 years old when he was shot dead by the police on 4th August 2011 in Tottenham.
Acting on intelligence that Mr. Duggan had collected a gun and was part of a gang known as Tottenham Man Dem, armed police officers intercepted the cab Mr. Duggan was travelling in.
The officer, only identified as V53, fired two shots at Mr. Duggan, after seeing a ‘gun-shaped’ item in a sock in his hand and believing it posed a threat.
“I had an honest-held belief that Mark Duggan was going to shoot me or one of my colleagues, so I brought my MP5 (sub-machine gun) up to the shooting position.”
In January, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, 30-year old drug dealer, was found guilty of supplying a gun to Mr. Duggan just minutes before he was killed. The gun was later found lying 10-20 fts away on the grass.
‘Witness B’, the only civilian to have witnessed the entire incident from his flat in Tottenham, north London, told the inquest jury that Mr. Duggan wasn’t holding a gun when he was shot and the shooting looked like an ‘execution’.
With this fresh appeal, the family hopes to get the verdict overturned and replaced with an open verdict or a fresh inquest. However, it might be a few weeks before the jury comes to a conclusion.