Mark Duggan Inquest

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2014 National Black Members' Conference
16 January 2014

Mark Duggan a young Black man and father of 5 was shot dead by armed Officers in August 2011 in Tottenham, which sparked riots and large scale civil unrest across England.

Following the inquest into his killing the jury found that Mark Duggan had thrown a gun from the vehicle he was travelling in just before he was killed, and that although he was unarmed at the time he was shot that the killing was ‘lawful’.

Over two years on from the shooting many unanswered questions still remain. On the 11th January a vigil for Mark was held outside Tottenham police station. Hundreds of people gathered and the family asked that the event be peaceful whilst promising to continue to challenge the verdict through all appropriate channels.

Conference sends condolences to Mark Duggan’s family. Whilst reflecting on this verdict that for many people is somewhat perplexing and seemingly contradictory.

MP for Tottenham David Lammy said The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) whose investigation into the event will continue have further questions to answer ‘in particular what happened days before the shooting’. It is essential that all avenues are investigated and that clear answers and understanding are given.

Mark Duggan’s death was a tragedy for his family and has highlighted the fragile relations between the Black community and the police. The trust of the Black community cannot be restored while persistent patterns of institutional racism exist through the police and criminal justice system. These patterns manifest into suspicious deaths of Black people in police custody and Black people in some areas in England and Wales 29 times more likely to be stopped and searched than white people.

Conference believes that the state has a responsibility for people in their care and the IPCC must be truly independent and effective in their investigations.

UNISON has had a long standing relationship and ongoing commitment to many justice campaigns. We must continue to support families that are fighting for justice and ensure that tackling institutional racism within the police and criminal justice system remains a priority.

That is why conference calls on the NBMC in partnership with the NEC to seek to:

• Support the Mark Duggan campaign and family in their efforts for further investigation into his death

• Raise awareness and continue to support justice campaigns that seek to:

– gain prosecutions for the unlawful killings of Black people in police custody

– and to gain reform in the way deaths in custody are investigated including effectiveness and independence of the IPCC

• Continue to raise awareness of patterns of racism that exist within the criminal justice system and challenge these through the appropriate channels