Mark Duggan inquest: Police warn of possible disorder at vigil in London today


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The Independent Online

Police have warned that some protesters plan to “provoke disorder” at a vigil for Mark Duggan in London this afternoon.

The warning from the Metropolitan Police Service came this morning, saying it will be “busy day” in the capital and that the force will have “additional officers on standby” to respond to trouble.

Relatives and supporters of the 29-year-old, whose death sparked protests that exploded into riots and looting across the country in 2011, are set to gather outside Tottenham Police Station in north London from 2pm and have appealed for the event to remain peaceful.

The vigil will take place in protest against what his family have branded a "perverse" inquest finding that he was lawfully killed by police in an event which helped spark riots across the country in 2011.

A Scotland Yard spokesman said, “We are aware of a limited amount of information that indicates a small number of people are expressing their desire to use this vigil as an opportunity. This information includes the intention of protest groups to attend and of people looking to provoke disorder. We will be ready to intervene immediately if required.

The head of Police in Haringey, where the vigil is taking place, has admitted he has “a certain level of anxiousness” as to whether the planned vigil will pass without violence or unrest later today.

Ch Supt Victor Olisa told the Tottenham Journal that he expected the event to go off peacefully but that “unpredictable elements” could still provoke disorder.

On Thursday Britain's most senior police officer and Prime Minister David Cameron both urged supporters to remain calm at the vigil.

The commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe, thanked the Duggan family for their public calls for peace, and said: "A vigil is to commemorate Mark Duggan's death, that's what the vigil is about.

"It's a terrible tragedy that someone's lost a life in this case, and clearly the family want to register, I believe, their protest about the outcome of the inquest.

"They've got every right to do that, and we as the police have got every opportunity to facilitate that so that's exactly what we will do.

"We will continue to talk to the family and others to keep our communications alive, and also to make sure, as I believe, that the protest will happen and that there won't be disorder."

Mr Duggan's aunt Carole said that she wanted "no more violence". In an interview with ITV News yesterday dismissed accusations that her nephew was a “gangster” saying that he did not live “a gangster lifestyle and was “just an ordinary man” who struggled like any other working class person.”

The planned vigil follows ugly scenes at the Royal Courts of Justice on Wednesday, when an inquest jury found that Mark Duggan was lawfully killed despite being unarmed at the time of the shooting by police firearms officers.

They said it was most likely that he had a gun with him in the minicab, but had thrown it onto a nearby grass verge before he was shot.

Family and friends of the father-of-six rushed from the public gallery, shouted and swore, and his brother Marlon had to be physically restrained as the conclusions were read.

Outside the court, Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley was drowned out by protesters shouting "murderers" and "scum" as he tried to make a statement on Scotland Yard's behalf.

It has since been reported in the Times that the jurors who heard the case are now being given special protection and indefinite anonymity.