Lawful killing…..once again! R.I.P. Mark Duggan.
By Mark Edwards for Occupy London Media.
Yesterday saw the civil liberties of Britain dragged one more step closer to that right wing based ideal, where black men, once again, shall never feel quite as safe, while going about their daily toil, as their white counterparts and friends.
These continued cases, wherein, a police firearms officer can, and will, discharge his or her weapon in an incident where the suspect or suspects were unarmed, and usually surrendering, must be looked into by some form of authority untainted with the stench of political corruption that pervades Britain’s Palace of Westminster, otherwise known as The Houses of Parliament!
Before anyone points out that Mark Duggan was no altar boy, and none of us reading this are!, may I draw your attention to the death of London based barrister Mark Saunders in May of 2008.
He was known to be armed, and had a storage locker for his shotguns in his Chelsea home. He held a firearms certificate, and was a known alcoholic. He also had a history of depression, not that it should really come into it here.
Mr Saunders had discharged 8 shots from an upper window of his home earlier in the day. At what, or whom, is still a matter of conjecture, but the shots were fired, and police were called. Markham Square was cordoned off by police. Helicopters launched. Rapid response units alerted…..and Sky News commando units drafted in to keep us all abreast of the situation.
After a siege lasting some hours, Mark Saunders was shot and killed by 3 of the 8 rounds fired at him.
And all done precisely down to the letter of the law. The way it should be done, if we have to have an organised police force, and if they have to be deployed on a case like this. There was a clear and present danger to the surrounding public, so the decision was made.
The inquest into ‘this’ shooting found there was cause for concern, based on his mental state and the fact he was also drunk and in charge of a weapon designed to kill….basically.
Finding:- Lawful killing.
Jean Charles de menezes, 22nd July 2005.
“Contemporaneous and later police and media accounts contradicted each other, specifically regarding Menezes’s manner and clothing as he entered the station, and whether there had been any police warnings before they fired. The death sparked an intense public debate over a shoot-to-kill practice known as Operation Kratos. The codename was dropped in 2007, but the policy continues.”
Killed at Stockwell tube station, just over 2 weeks after the 7/7 London bombings that claimed the lives of 52 people and injured twice that number. Mr de Menezes was followed from his home in Tulse Hill, to Stockwell station, because Brixton was closed, and watched as he entered the station, before following close behind.
Now, before I go on, I’d like to point out that a surveillance officer manning cameras set up outside his residence, on Scotia Road, had a chance to identify and re-direct police attention……..if he’d bothered to note that Mr de Menezes was neither of Ethiopian, Somali or Eritrean appearance. These were the three men the police were trying to apprehend following a failed mass bombing attempt at three London stations…..allegedly!
But the officer failed to communicate his concerns that the man now being followed was either of these men.
Three firearms officers boarded the same tube as their ‘suspect’, wedging the door open with one of their feet and yelling “He’s here”!
He was restrained, pushed back into his seat and shot 7 times in the head and twice in the lower torso. At point blank range!
Varying accounts as to the reason why he was shot this way included: “….he could have been armed”.
“…so if we hadn’t acted, who knows, he could have had a device to trigger explosives”.
But witness statements, many of which have been withheld from public records, claimed he was compliant at all times with the police…well, the short time he interacted with his killers.
So what happened?
Inquest finding: Lawful killing….again!
And finally Mark Duggan. Shot and killed by a police firearms team, in broad daylight, getting out of a cab that they had stopped. The order to fire was given, after one of the officers claimed later in his statement, Mr Duggan had a gun on his person, and he had also shot at one of the firearm team members.
This claim was later exposed as a lie. The police also say they found a converted Brocock pistol that had been hidden in a sock and dumped by Mr Duggan at some point of his cab journey.
If the gun had been dumped, how did the police officer claim to see a gun in Marks hand by the cab?
That and the fact forensic examination of the weapon revealed no trace of Mark Duggans DNA or any trace of fingerprints means this too is also a lie!
It should also be noted the firearms team involved refused to give evidence at an earlier police internal inquiry. Or should that be, they refused to co-operate with the investigation , and withheld their statements for over a year!
Why? And under whose instruction?
If you remember correctly, this incident sparked nation wide insurrection and looting. I refuse to call it a riot, because it wasn’t! And it lead to the incarceration of over 250 individuals, as well as the introduction of armoured cars similar to those used in Northern Ireland!
Inquest finding: Lawful killing…..once again!
R.I.P. Mark Duggan.
But have you noticed that of all the high interest cases like these have slowly allowed for the erosion of your civil liberties?
And more worrying is the attitude displayed by some on this issue.
I suppose it won’t matter until it’s puppy or a kitten that is shot dead by police marksman.
Now that would polarise middle Englands opinion I can tell you.
Welcome to (S)Camerons re-iteration of Germany, 1936!
P.S. does anyone else see the difference between the way the first case here was handled and the last one with Mark Duggan?
Chants of ‘MURDERERS’ at police after Mark Duggan inquest verdict
Brief footage outside Tottenham Police Station.