Statement on the conclusion of Mark Duggan inquest

Wednesday, 08 January 2014
Following the conclusion of the Mark Duggan inquest this afternoon, David Lammy MP issued the following statement:

“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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