Our Campaign Aims:
1. To quash the Inquest verdict of “lawful killing”.
The judicial mechanism for quashing the verdict is a “judicial review”. In April 2014 the family won the right to a judicial review of the Coroner’s directions to the jury, and is currently waiting for the date of a hearing. Click here.
2. For V53 to be suspended from all duties, ensure he does not return to active firearms duty and is held to account for his role in the killing of Mark Duggan.
V53 is the codename of the officer who killed Mark Duggan. V53 stated at the Inquest that he “was 100% sure” Mark was pointing a gun at him when he fired “shot one and shot two”, describing in detail what he called the “freeze frame moment”. But the jury found that Mark was unarmed when shot. Their conclusion starkly contradicts the forensic like detail with which V53 described seeing the gun. At the very least, we believe this indicates V53 is not fit to carry an armed weapon. Despite this V53 remains in active service and has been given the ‘go-ahead’ to return to active firearms duty. The head of armed policing in London, Neil Bassau, even referred to V53 as “extremely professional and courageous”. We want V53 removed from active duty and believe on no account should he be returned to fire arms duty. V53 must be held to account for his role in the killing of Mark, and the detailed evidence he gave during the Inquest.
3. To ensure that a full and proper investigation into Mark’s killing is undertaken.
When someone dies at the hands of the police; families and loved ones of the deceased have little choice but to hope the IPCC will investigate the case properly. Time and again, the IPCC has been heavily criticised for failing to conduct rigorous and independent investigations. In this case, the family feel those criticisms are more that justified. Within hours of Mark’s death, the IPCC was briefing the media that Mark had shot at police first. In fact the police and the IPCC knew that the bullet which had hit a police officers (W42) radio had been fired by 53, passing through Mark first. This impact was devastating: it tainted the investigation – and Mark’s character – from the start. It could also only have discouraged witnesses from coming forward (painting a picture of a gang member involved in a shoot out). Yet it took the IPCC three weeks to correct this serious factual error. There has still been no investigation to identify the source of this damaging claim; and we can only assume the person responsible remains in post. In the course of the Inquest many other failings in the investigation have emerged: That the IPCC: failed to secure the crime scene properly; gave permission for the mini-cab (a key piece of evidence) to be removed before it had been examined; failed to respond to independent witnesses and chose not to explore the possibility that the gun had been planted – even though it was found 6 metres from where Mark died and independent witnesses testified to seeing police remove the gun from the mini-cab. Just weeks before the Inquest was due to begin, and without their investigation completed, the IPCC chose to announce publicly: “We have found no evidence to indicate criminality at this stage.”
Despite these failings the family remain reliant on the IPCC to reinvestigate the case including new evidence that has come to light in the course of the Inquest. They want a proper and full investigation to establish the facts.This should include:
*Interviewing police under caution – something that has still not happened.
*Questioning officer V59 (the operational commander and tactical adviser), against the video evidence of witness B (the only independent witness to the shooting to come forward) which shows V59 directing officers to secure a gun, which hadn’t yet been found. Click here.
*Investigating the requests of former members of the Community Reference Group (established to oversee the investigation into Marks death) to see statements they were told had been made by three officers regarding a Sergeant throwing away a gun. Click here.
*Examining the evidence of witness B, who said Mark was holding a blackberry in his hand when he was shot, was surrendering, and was effectively “executed”. All new evidence should be made available to the family and legal team.
This is necessary in order to answer:
*Why were 31 police pursuing one man?
*Why in an operation of this scale was “intelligence” not acted on earlier leading to a dangerous “hard stop” on the edges of Broadwater Farm?
*Why were two shots (only one of which was fatal) fired at Mark?
*How did the gun (which had no traces of Mark on it) get over the fence onto the grass 6 meters away from where Mark was shot?
4. For an appropriate public body to investigate the failure of the IPCC to conduct a thorough and independent investigation.
This must include identifying the source at the IPCC of media briefings which falsely claimed Mark had shot at police within hours of his death. (the officer was in fact injured by one of the police bullets fired at Mark).
5. To inform the public of the true facts of the case.
The J4M “myth buster” can be read here.
6. To campaign alongside families and friends of others who have died in police custody to hold the police to account for this systemic injustice which has seen 1489 die since 1990, but not one officer successfully prosecuted; and to support others campaigning against police violence and racism. (Visit Inquest ; United Family and Friends, and DtRtP).
7. To support others in the local community who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police (Roger Sylvester, Joy Gardener and Cynthia Jarrett) and challenge wider problems of police misconduct in the area; especially the disproportionate stop and search of BME young people.
8. To lay a plaque in memory of Mark on the edges of Broadwater Farm where he was killed.
“The inquest verdict has brought serious concerns and justified questions. These should not be framed as some kind of disrespect for the judicial process. The law allows for questions and challenges through appeals and judicial review. If the law itself recognises that it is not always correct, then we have not only a right but a duty ensure that its decisions equate to justice. Let us not forget that had it not been for the Lawrence family challenging a legal ruling – and not only that but leading a campaign to change the law itself – two of Stephen Lawrence’s killers would not have been brought to justice.” Diane Abbott following the inquest verdict