An inquest has been opened into the shooting of Mark Dugan, the man whose death at the hands of armed police in 2011 sparked a wave of riots across the country.
More than two years after the father of four was killed, the inquest is expected to rule whether Mr Duggan should have been killed by police, and whether there was a missed opportunity to arrest the 29-year-old two weeks prior to the incident.
Pam Duggan, Mark's mother, said: “Since Mark was shot dead over two years ago we have been provided with nothing but lies, misinformation, and delay. We hope that the truth will finally come out for the sake of all his family, not least his young children.”
In January this year the inquest, which is expected to take around 8 weeks, was delayed until September. It now takes place at the Royal Courts of Justice, London and will today select a jury.
The officer who fired the fatal shot will give evidence at the hearings examining the circumstances of Mr Duggan’s death in August 2011. The shooting sparked four nights of rioting in London and other English cities.
“It is a quest to find the truth. This may sound rather grand but it is in fact an important task and one which may take us a little time,” the Coroner, Judge Keith Cutler, told the jury on the first day of the inquest at the High Court in London. “It may be the case that the heart of your considerations will be whether Mark Duggan was killed lawfully or unlawfully.”
Duggan was killed when police stopped the taxi he was travelling in through Tottenham. The media first reported that the incident was a shootout, but it later transpired that no shots had been fired by Mr Duggan.
There has been speculation that Mr Duggan was on his way to commit a vengeance killing for the death of his brother.
Kevin Hutchinson Foster, the man who supplied a gun to Mark Duggan on the day of his death, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in February.
Ashley Underwood QC, counsel to the inquest, said the inquest hopes to determine what intelligence the police had regarding the pistol Mr Duggan acquired before he was shot and why the weapon supplied to Mr Duggan was not confiscated from Kevin Hutchinson Foster earlier in the day.
Deborah Coles, co-director of the charity INQUEST, which is working with the Duggan family, called for a “full, fair and far-reaching inquest”.
She added: “Where citizens are killed by the state there must be a robust and fearless inquiry to ascertain whether the use of lethal force was lawful and necessary. This inquest is long overdue.“