Briton whose death sparked riot 'killed by single shot'

9th August 2011, Comments 0 comments

A British man shot by police, whose death triggered a wave of riots, was killed by a single gunshot wound to the chest, a probe into his death heard on Tuesday.

Mark Duggan, 29, was killed by armed officers on Thursday in Tottenham, north London, after they stopped the taxi he was in during an attempted arrest as part of a police operation against gun crime within the black community.

On Saturday, a protest in Tottenham against his death escalated into a riot, and the violence then spread over the next two nights to other parts of London, as well as the cities of Liverpool, Bristol and Birmingham.

The inquest into Duggan's death, which will establish how he died, opened in north London on Tuesday before being adjourned to December 12.

In the brief opening hearing, it heard that the father-of-four died of a single gunshot wound to the chest.

His death is being investigated by the police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, but it has fuelled anger in the deprived district of Tottenham, where relations between the community and police have long been tense.

Media reports have suggested police may not have been under attack when the they opened fire.

Duggan's fiancee Semone Wilson and other family members attended the inquest hearing, and Coroner Andrew Walker offered his "deepest sympathies".

"As well as offering our deepest sympathies to members of the family, I would like to reassure members of the family that we will be working closely with Mr Duggan's family and the IPCC throughout the process," he said.

In a statement on the family's behalf, Helen Shaw, from the organisation Inquest, said: "We want to establish the truth.

"The family want everyone to know that the disorder going on has nothing to do with finding out what has happened to Mark.

"They also want people to know they are deeply distressed by the disorder affecting communities across the country."

© 2011 AFP

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