Monday, 8 August 2011

Police May Have Been First to Shoot

By Ben Aulakh

An initial investigation into the shooting of 29-year-old Mark Duggan has contradicted police reports that the man fired upon police, before himself being shot by firearms officers.

Results from tests carried out by the National Ballistics Intelligence Service suggest that bullet fragments found at the scene of the incident were police issue ammunition.

The results fly in the face of claims by the Metropolitan Police that Mr Duggan initially fired upon police, and that his death occurred after an exchange of gunfire.

The Met had originally stated that a bullet, fired by the 29-year-old had lodged in the radio of one of Scotland Yard’s CO19 elite firearms officers.

However it now appears likely that the first shot came from one of the unit’s officers who feared that Mr Duggan was about to fire.

It also has been suggested that the bullet which lodged in the radio of one of the unit’s officers may have come from the gun of the same policeman who killed the victim.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission are today expected to confirm whether or not the bullet fragments found at the scene were fired form a police weapon, or another gun.

An argument has also flared up between the Yard and the IPCC, over the amount of information into the shooting that was released to the victim’s family in the wake of his death.

The Met’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner has said that he believes ‘both the Met and the IPCC could have managed the family’s needs more effectively.’

However the IPCC’s Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said, “I am very clear that the family’s concerns were not about lack of contact or support from the IPCC.

“Their concerns were about lack of contact from the police in delivering news of his death to Mark’s parents.”

If the IPPC, which examines all cases involving police firearms units, finds that police shot first, this could be the start of yet another damaging recent scandal for the Metropolitan Police.

The force recently lost its Commissioner Sir John Stephenson, and Assistant Commissioner John Yates to the phone hacking scandal. 

Photograph from   

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