press releases

Carole Duggan demands answers as Ministry of Justice ‘loses’ file on Mark Duggan’s death

Carole Duggan speaking in Brixton last night as part of the Ferguson Solidarity Tour

Carole Duggan speaking in Brixton last night as part of the Ferguson Solidarity Tour to raise awareness of deaths at police hands

The aunt of Mark Duggan, who was shot dead by police on the streets of Tottenham in August 2011, is demanding answers from the Ministry of Justice over a missing file concerning Mark’s death.

Today’s Mail on Sunday reports that a computer disk containing the file was “lost in the post” at the ministry and is still missing. “According to some sources, the file may contain the name of the policeman who killed Duggan, as well as the identities of other officers involved,” the Mail on Sunday article says.

Carole, who is speaking at a Ferguson solidarity rally in Tottenham this evening, said: “The criminal justice system went out of its way to protect the identities of the officers who killed Mark, issuing all manner of reporting restrictions and anonymity orders in court. Now we learn that this apparently sensitive information has been ‘lost in the post’ at the Ministry of Justice.

“How did this file go missing? And why? Scotland Yard and the ministry have questions to answer if we are ever going to get to the bottom of why Mark was shot dead while unarmed and surrendering to police.”

Carole added: “I’m dismayed that the Mail and I presume the Metropolitan Police press office have used this scandal as an excuse to recycle discredited rumours and innuendo about Mark.

“It is absolute rubbish to claim that Mark ‘brandished a firearm at officers before running off’. This does not tally with any of the forensic evidence presented at his inquest. The gun was found in a sock 20 feet from his body. The only witness who says it was ever in Mark’s hands was the anonymous officer who shot him dead.”

Carole is speaking at dates on the Ferguson Solidarity Tour alongside Patrisse Cullors, a Los Angeles based justice activist and co-founder of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and several other families of those who have died in police custody.

She is appearing in Tottenham tonight (Sunday) at North London Community House, 22 Moorefield Road, London N17 6PY, and will be attending a meeting in parliament tomorrow evening (Monday) organised by Diane Abbott MP and John McDonnell MP for deaths in custody campaigners. Carole will also be speaking in Manchester on Thursday at the Hideaway Youth Project, Quinney Crescent Shoreham Close, Manchester M16 7D.

▶ The Ferguson Solidarity Tour is supported by Justice for Mark Duggan and has been initiated by Defend the Right to Protest, the United Families & Friends Campaign and NUS Black Students Campaign. To contact the organisers send an email to fergusonsolidarityUK@gmail.com. To contact the Justice for Mark Duggan campaign email justiceformarkduggan@gmail.com

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Justice for Mark campaign launches fresh witness appeal

Justice for Mark banner at the People's Assembly demo in June

For immediate release

Families of people who have died in police custody will be joining Mark Duggan’s family for a march and vigil in his memory, taking place today on the third anniversary of his shooting by police in Tottenham.

“I stand with the Duggan family in remembrance of their loved one, Mark.” said Marcia Rigg, the sister of Sean Rigg who died in a Brixton police station in 2008. “Why? Our questions are the very same even though we had never met before. Unity is the families strength and the trick is to never give up the fight, for how else will justice come?” Others attending include relatives of Cherry Groce, Joy Gardner, Christopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and Leon Patterson. Diane Abbott MP has released a statement in support of the family.

Susan Alexander, the mother of Azelle Rodney, has also sent a message of support to the family which will be read out at the vigil. The CPS announced last week it will be prosecuting Officer E7 for Azelle Rodney’s murder. He was killed during a “hard stop” in 2005. Six years later, and despite recommendations by the IPCC to review this “high risk” tactic, Mark Duggan was shot by police in another “hard stop”.

Fresh witness appeal

The march and vigil follows on from last month’s judicial review at the High Court in which the family have sought to have the Inquest conclusion of “lawful killing” quashed. The result will be know in the autumn (likely September or October).

In the meantime the Justice for Mark Duggan family campaign is launching a fresh appeal for witnesses. In a highly critical report following the Inquest, the Coroner Judge Keith Cutler, expressed concern that that “doubts about the accuracy of police accounts are not minimised”.

He identified a number of issues including the “scope for conferring” between police, the handling of the crime scene which saw crucial evidence moved, and the failure to record the scene (despite the first aid attempts being filmed by police), which may have helped with “the significant issue of how and when the gun got some distance from Mark’s body”.

Judge Cutler also identified the falsehood that Mark had shot at police first (he was in fact unarmed), circulated by a still unidentified source at the IPCC to the media, as contributing the reluctance of witnesses to the shooting to come forward.

The only independent witness to the shooting to come forward so far, “Witness B”, described Marks killing as an “execution’. The campaign hopes this fresh witness appeal will encourage people who may witnesses something come forward. Eye witness evidence has been crucial to establishing facts of how people have died in custody or following police contact in many other cases.

► The march assembles 5pm, Monday 4 August 2014, at Broadwater Farm then proceeds to Ferry Lane for a vigil from 6pm to 7pm

► Read Diane Abbott MP’s statement on the third anniversary of Mark’s death

► Download the Appeal For Witnesses jpg and the background PDF document.

Justice 4 Mark 2014 Vigil flier s2

Mark’s family to launch justice campaign at public meeting

press release for immediate release, 7pm, 29 January 2014

7pm, Thursday 30 January 2014
North London Community Centre, London N17 6PY

Speakers include: Carole Duggan, Becky Shah, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Marcia Rigg,
Zita Holbourne

The Justice for Mark Duggan campaign holds its public launch meeting in Tottenham this Thursday evening. Trade unionists, justice campaigners and Tottenham residents are will join members of Mark’s family to demand answers about the circumstances of Mark’s death at police hands on 4 August 2011.

Around 1,000 people came to a recent vigil for Mark organised by the campaign outside Tottenham police station. The public meeting is the next step in an uphill struggle to find out how Mark died and to hold any police officers responsible to account.

Speakers at the launch meeting include Zita Holbourne from the TUC race relations committee, which is supporting the campaign. She says: “It is of great concern that the jury in the Inquest reached a verdict of lawful killing despite also concluding that Mark Duggan was not in possession of a gun when shot dead. Challenging injustice and racism is a responsibility for us all, including the trade union movement.”

The meeting will challenge some of the myths and slurs peddled against Mark, including claims by a police officer at the inquest that Mark was among “48 of Europe’s most violent criminals”. Becky Shah, whose mother died at Hillsborough, says: “Police used the same processes to cover up the Hillsborough disaster and Mark Duggan’s death: distorting facts, lies, collusion, stigmatisation and demonisation of victims. We want justice for all those who have died through contact with the police.” Becky will be speaking at the Justice for Mark meeting.

The family campaign has already won support from staff at the College of North East London in Tottenham. They recently passed a UCU union motion expressing concern “that the decision to find it lawful for the police to shoot an unarmed person has put all young black people in our college and beyond at risk”. They have pledged to raise these concerns with Tottenham MP David Lammy.

Other supporters of the campaign include families fighting for justice and accountability themselves. Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean died in police custody, said: “When a family’s loved one is killed at the hands of the state, one would expect honest answers and transparency, followed by justice and accountability where there is wrongdoing or corruption found. Unfortunately it’s not that clear cut. A strong campaign of mass public support is vital for any family in our position, since the system is designed to fail us. We must stand firm and fight on for the truth: that is what ‘no justice, no peace’ means.”

Acclaimed poet Linton Kwesi Johnson will also be making an appearance at the launch of Justice for Mark Duggan. Linton’s poems include Licence Fi Kill, about deaths in police custody.

for information contact justiceformarkduggan@gmail.com