Fury at threat to inquest into police killing
The family of the man whose shooting by police triggered last summer's riots has condemned the watchdog investigating the pre-planned operation for withholding details that could scupper a full inquest.
The family's solicitor said its confidence in the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) was disappearing after learning that material about police decision-making on the day Mark Duggan was shot could not be provided to the coroner in charge of his inquest.
The coroner yesterday put back the planned opening of the hearing until next year and will rule in October if the court has enough information for it to go ahead. A special inquiry could be held instead, where some evidence is heard behind closed doors.
"This is the latest twist in the Duggan investigation and leaves them [the family] uninspired by the IPCC's assertion of independence," the family's solicitor, Marcia Willis-Stewart, said. "I don't know about public confidence, but the family's confidence is going by the day."
The delay marks the latest conflict between the family and the watchdog investigating the circumstances of the shooting. The IPCC said it was expecting to deliver its final report into the incident to the coroner by early autumn – more than a year after Mr Duggan's death.
But it added that it may have material "it could not properly disclose to a coroner" over the decision by officers to shoot Mr Duggan, North London Coroners' Court was told yesterday.
The IPCC said it had informed the family about the change of circumstances, but the family said it was concerned that the organisation was acting as a "shield" for the police.
Mr Duggan was a passenger in a minicab when he was killed by a single shot to the chest during an operation involving officers from Scotland Yard's Trident gun crime unit on 4 August in Tottenham, north London. Anger over the shooting led to riots in the area, with unrest soon spreading across London and then to other parts of the country.
The police and the IPCC have apologised to Mr Duggan's parents for failing to tell them directly about their son's death. They only learned of the killing from watching television, according to their MP, David Lammy.
Initial reports suggesting that Mr Duggan shot at police were later dismissed by ballistics tests, which found that a bullet lodged in one officer's radio was issued by police. The inquiry failed to establish the sequence of events concerning a handgun inside a box that was reportedly found at the scene of the shooting. The IPCC said yesterday that a criminal trial of two men about the circumstances in which Mr Duggan allegedly acquired the gun would run into October and was the reason for the inquest's delay.
"The IPCC also alerted the coroner and other interested persons to the possibility that it is likely to be in possession of material that would be relevant to the issue of police decision-making but which could not be provided to the inquest for legal reasons," it added in a statement.
A senior official for the IPCC said last year it had erred in saying in the aftermath of the shooting that Mr Duggan had exchanged fire with police officers. The Metropolitan Police yesterday declined to comment, citing the inquiry.
Have shock jocks gone too far after Rush Limbaugh called Sandra Fluke a slut?
Former Google exec says he has 100,000 emails showing how 'immoral' company avoids paying UK tax
Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
World news in pictures
British man faces court after confessing to slitting two children's throats in Lyon flat
- 1 Asteroid nine times the size of the QE2 liner to sail pass Earth
- 2 Notes from a small island: Is Sealand an independent 'micronation' or an illegal fortress?
- 3 British business: We need to stay in the EU - or risk losing up to £92bn a year
- 4 You thought Ryanair's attendants had it bad? Wait 'til you hear about their pilots
- 5 It’s official: thanks to Stephen Hawking's Israel boycott, anti-Semitism is no more
BMF is the UK’s biggest and best loved outdoor fitness classes
Find out what The Independent's resident travel expert has to say about one of the most beautiful small cities in the world
Win anything from gadgets to five-star holidays on our competitions and offers page.
Excellent Package: Austen Lloyd: This is a senior appointment with huge potent...
£28000 - £31500 per annum + benefits: Randstad Education Newcastle: Permanent ...
£50000 - £58000 per annum + Benefits and Bonus: Progressive Recruitment: SAP F...
£30000 - £40000 per annum + BENS: Progressive Recruitment: Drupal Developer A ...