Coroner seeks Duggan family's views

Coroner seeks Duggan family's views

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Pam Duggan, the mother of Mark Duggan, at a vigil in his memory outside Tottenham Police Station, in Tottenham, north London

First published in National News © by

The coroner in the Mark Duggan inquest will take the "unique" move of inviting the family to help shape police firearms procedure.

Senior circuit judge Keith Cutler told The Mail on Sunday he will seek views from Mr Duggan's relatives on the ''training of officers and preparation for operations".

He said: " I will go quiet for a while but around the middle of February I will be announcing what recommendations I have made to the Secretary of State.

" Normally I would hide away and come to my own conclusions about these recommendations but this has been a highly charged and high- profile case. I have wanted to have transparency for all the parties and the public.

"In that spirit I am taking the unusual, perhaps unique, step of inviting submissions from all the interested parties including the Duggan family. I'll wait to receive all the views before sitting down and carefully considering any recommendations that need to be made."

All parties are aware of his decision and the police have asked to hear other views first before submitting their own, he added.

The judge also defended his decision to hold a controversial 20-second silence for Mr Duggan at the start of the inquest last September.

'It was my idea.," he told the newspaper. "I know it was controversial, and I know the police were bristling about it and sections of the media were very critical, but I believe that Mark Duggan's death led to a great deal of unrest.

"I thought that a few moments' reflection at the start of the inquest might be quite healing."

He added: "Whatever you think of him as an individual, Mark Duggan was somebody's son. No one wanted him to die."

His comments came after r elatives of Mr Duggan proclaimed "we are not a gangster family" at a peaceful vigil outside Tottenham police station.

Around 500 protesters gathered outside the three-storey building in north London yesterday afternoon, in protest of the jury's verdict that the 29-year-old was lawfully killed by police.

Mr Duggan's death at the hands of a Metropolitan Police marksman sparked riots across the country in 2011.

His mother, Pamela, aunt, Carole, and brother, Marlon, were joined by crowds carrying placards which read: "Justice for Mark Duggan."

They held a minute's silence before chanting "No justice, no peace" and "Who are the murderers? Police are the murderers".

Carole Duggan told protesters that the media was to blame for portraying her nephew as a gangster.

She said: "The more we people come together and support each other, maybe we can make a better life for our children, for all of those children who have to live in these communities that are over-policed, where they are not free.

"They don't have the same freedom as other children in other parts of the country and that's not fair.

"What we have got to remember - Mark isn't here and we are doing this for his children.

"So let's show the country that we are not this gangster family that the media has been systematically portraying us as.

"Mark was not a gangster, the media sustained a campaign against him.

"We're just an ordinary family."

Mr Duggan's aunt also called for a new Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation into his death.

She told reporters: "Mark did not get the justice he deserved from the inquest, so therefore we have no alternative but to go back to basics, start at the beginning.

"The beginning was with the IPCC - what we really want the IPCC to do now is what they should have done in the beginning and that is a thorough investigation."

Protesters booed local Labour MP David Lammy for not attending.

Earlier in the day, Mr Lammy had warned anyone intending to cause trouble to stay away.

Reggae and hip hop music was played from loudspeakers as other black families who lost loved ones after police contact also spoke to the crowd.

Trade unionists from the National Union of Teachers and RMT were also present, while Tottenham Hotspur fans went past the protest to their home game against Crystal Palace at nearby White Hart Lane.

As the protest came to an end, 20 white doves symbolising peace were released.

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