An investigation has found that there is no forensic evidence that Mark Duggan was armed when he was shot by police, the Guardian newspaper has claimed.
Mr Duggan's death on August 4 sparked riots in Tottenham, north London which spread to other parts of England.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is investigating whether he was in the possession of a firearm when he was fatally shot.
The Guardian said the investigation has discovered that a gun owned by Mr Duggan was found some 10-14 feet away behind a low fence from where he was killed.
In response, the Metropolitan Police has said the newspaper's headline - 'Mark Duggan was not armed when shot by police' - was "inaccurate and misleading based on what is known at this time".
Police said: "The article, and especially its headline, states as fact issues that are subject to an ongoing investigation by the IPCC, and we would reiterate that it is premature to draw any conclusions about its findings."
In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, the IPCC said Mr Duggan, 29, had fired a weapon at police causing a bullet to lodge in a radio worn by a police officer.
This was later retracted with police admitting it was more likely to have been a bulllet fired by an officer whch had ricocheted.
The Guardian claimed several new findings have emerged from the IPPC's invesitgation.
It said Mr Duggan did obtain a weapon on the day he was killed - a shoe box containing the firearm was found in a people carrier Mr Duggan had rented the same day.
However, there is no evidence the gun had been fired, and that while Mr Duggan's fingerprints were found on the shoe box it is not clear if he had handled the weapon itself.
It is also claimed the vehicle Mr Duggan was driving was moved by police before independent investigators examined the scene.
Suprise suprise. Cue more riots. Should get the protester camps shifted.
Release of information in early stages of Mark Duggan investigation
Independent Police Complaints Commission website, 12 August 2011
Analysis of media coverage and queries raised on Twitter have alerted to us to the possibility that we may have inadvertently given misleading information to journalists when responding to very early media queries following the shooting of Mark Duggan by MPS [London's Metropolitan Police Service] officers on the evening of 4th August.
The IPCC's [Independent Police Complaints Commission] first statement, issued at 22.49 on 4th August, makes no reference to shots fired at police and our subsequent statements have set out the sequence of events based on the emerging evidence. However, having reviewed the information the IPCC received and gave out during the very early hours of the unfolding incident, before any documentation had been received, it seems possible that we may have verbally led journalists to believe that shots were exchanged as this was consistent with early information we received that an officer had been shot and taken to hospital.
Any reference to an exchange of shots was not correct and did not feature in any of our formal statements, although an officer was taken to hospital after the incident.
Last edited by cem on Sun Nov 20, 2011 5:39 pm; edited 1 time in total
But the IPCC objected:
IPCC statement re story published in The Guardian in relation to the investigation into the death of Mark Duggan
19 November 2011
'The IPCC believes the headline on an article published in The Guardian in connection with the investigation into the fatal shooting of Mark Duggan is misleading, speculative and wholly irresponsible.
The IPCC expressed its concerns to The Guardian last night over the article’s headline and we had been given the impression that the headline would be amended but, disappointingly The Guardian appears to have chosen not to. We will be considering in due course whether it would be appropriate for a formal complaint to be made to the Press Complaints Commission about this matter.'
The heading has now been changed in the Guardian to 'New questions raised over Duggan shooting'
The story itself still starts with 'The investigation into the death of Mark Duggan has found no forensic evidence that he was carrying a gun when he was shot dead by police on 4 August...'
So we can no doubt look forward to other evidence being 'found' that proves he was holding a gun after all.
I discovered, within the community, that the minicab from which Duggan was taken seconds before he was shot, had been moved from the scene. This was long before the arrival of the IPCC investigators. When I brought this to the IPCC commissioner's attention she confessed to not knowing anything about it. This was some two months into the investigation. We were later informed by her that the police had wanted to give the vehicle back to its owner, and there was no forensic data on it.
It was later revealed that there was, in fact, forensic and other evidence, of major significance, in and on the vehicle. We were also told that the IPCC investigators had demanded it be brought back to the scene. Weeks after these revelations, we were told by a very embarrassed IPCC commissioner that her own investigators had sanctioned the removal of the vehicle – before they had even reached the crime scene.
It took three months for this to be revealed. It also took three weeks for the IPCC to realise that it had wrongly told journalists that police had been involved in a shoot-out with Duggan. We all know the impact that piece of misinformation has had, not only on Tottenham but on the whole country.
I believe that in removing the minicab from the scene, the police have clearly compromised the evidence. Given that the IPCC sanctioned the vehicle's removal, the entire investigation is now in doubt.
There is one final piece of outstanding investigative work that we need to put into the public arena. We were told that at least three officers had given a statement that they had witnessed another officer, a sergeant, throwing away the gun that was later found several feet from Duggan's body. When we sought to identify the officers involved, we were told there was no evidence to support the allegation – that this statement was in fact never given. Yet we were informed by the commissioner that it had been.
Last week a CRG meeting took place in the IPCC offices in central London. The commissioner wanted us there so she could explain away the concerns we had been raising. I and another CRG member, John Noblemunn, did not attend because we knew what would happen. The commission would seek to explain the inexplicable, or try to set up yet another investigation where they investigate themselves, which will then seek to explain the inexplicable.
In all of my years of engagement with the Met, I have yet to witness such a shoddy investigation. It is time we recognise that we need a body truly willing and able to investigate the police. This is the only way to ensure that they learn from their mistakes; and that, when mistakes occur, communities do not believe the one route to justice lies in taking matters into their own hands.
The Hard Stop is an intimate documentary revealing the story, away from all press coverage, of Mark Duggan’s friends and family following his death. He was shot and killed in a ‘Hard Stop’ police procedure in 2011, sparking the most violent riots in British history.
For 28 months, director George Amponsah (The Fighting Spirit) filmed around Broadwater Farm in Tottenham, where Duggan grew up, capturing his family’s distress and focusing on two of his best friends, Marcus Knox and Kurtis Henville. We follow the men closely as they attempt to get on with their lives, look for a job, talk about the discrimination they experience on a daily basis and the impact Duggan’s death has had on the community. Duggan is present throughout, in peoples’ testimonies and news broadcasts. What emerges is a profoundly humane, thought-provoking and topical testament, which gives a voice to people who are rarely heard.
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