The Independent Police Complaints Commission apologize for giving false information on the death of Mark Duggan, a 29-year-old who was shot in north London in 2011 for seemingly no reason.
Duggan’s death has been the focus of many protesters who call out for answers on why this death occurred and why false information was given to the media to begin with.
After the his death, police told the media that Duggan had fired shots at the police first. The IPCC has now apologized for this and has said that the information was false.
Rachel Cerfontye, deputy chairwoman of the IPCC, said
“This inquest and our own review of the way we investigate deaths show the problems that can arise when officers confer when writing up their notes following fatal incidents,” she said.
“We have therefore decided to issue our own statutory guidance on post-incident management following death or serious injury. The guidance will cover conferring and the separation of officers. Legally, we have to consult on the content of this guidance. Once agreed by the home secretary, we will expect police officers to comply with it, and call them to account if they do not.”
Another problem that this case faced was the lack of witnesses who agreed to speak out about what happened.
One witness, known as Witness B, said that he was at home during the confrontation and looked out his window after hearing a commotion. He went on to say that he saw Duggan holding up his hands and facing the police.
“He had…it looked like a phone clutched in his hand and he had his hands up.” He added, “That was definitely a phone clutched in his hand.”
Witness B also said that there was lots of shouting of “Get down! Get down!” Duggan was shot twice by police shortly after this.
Witness B explained that nothing aggressive or confrontational was seen in Duggan’s demeanor and he had followed the instructions of the police.
All suggestions of Duggan aiming the phone at the police to look like a gun were dismissed by the witness. Adam Straw, counsel for Duggen’s family, asked him whether or not Duggan was shot while surrendering to which the witness replied, “Yes.”
The original account of Witness B was changed and he would not go into detail as to why, only saying that he was afraid of the police.
Duggan was shot in August 2011 by a Scotland Yard marksman “after armed officiers stopped the taxi in which was traveling in Tottenham, north London.
Representation in the media
The media is also under fire in this case. In an effort to create a more intense and dangerous look to Duggan, media outlets cropped photos of Duggan.
Using cropping like this on a photo is quite poor taste for a journalist. I understand that you wish to convey an idea to the public, but to completely attempt to ruin someone’s image by cropping out the gravesite of a deceased daughter, for example, is quite terrible.