Bullet casts doubt over firefight
DOUBTS have emerged over whether Mark Duggan, whose death at the hands of police sparked the weekend's Tottenham riots, was killed during an exchange of fire.
Initial ballistics tests on a bullet, found lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday's incident, suggested it was police issue – and therefore had not been fired by Mr Duggan.
Mr Duggan, 29, a father of four, was shot dead on Thursday near Tottenham Hale. The Independent Police Complaints Commission has launched an inquiry into the shooting.
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A community organiser said a handgun recovered at the scene was found in a sock and therefore not ready for use.
It is likely to fuel anger in Tottenham, and elsewhere, if it provides evidence that officers were not under attack at the time they opened fire on Mr Duggan.
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09-Aug-2011 10:32 AMSingapore: oppresses Muslims, bans athaan, bans hijab in schools, prevents building of madrassahs or muslim schools, puts limit on the percentage of Muslims allowed in each apartment building, and bans Muslims from joining Singapore's elite military forces. Singapore; Israel's best buddy!
09-Aug-2011 10:37 AM
...Initial reports after the shooting five days ago suggested that the officer had been saved by the bullet striking his radio and it had been fired from the handgun later recovered from the taxi carrying Mr Duggan, who was then fatally wounded by another marksman.
But it was suggested yesterday that the 29-year-old was instead killed by one of two rounds fired by a CO19 officer who feared the target was about to open fire. Investigators are trying to establish whether it was the second of these two bullets were struck the police team member's radio.
Evidence that the father-of-four did not brandish a firearm and that a CO19 officer came close to killing one of his colleagues will only worsen the tensions that have brought violence and looting to the streets.
As the Yard last night admitted there had been a failure to answer the concerns of Mr Duggan's family about the manner of his death, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said it expected to release definitive test results today to establish whether the bullet fragments came from a police MP5 sub-machinegun or another weapon.
Rachel Cerfontyne, the IPCC commissioner who is leading the investigation into the shooting, said: "In the course of our contact I know that the family – and indeed the community, still have many unanswered questions. We would anticipate being in a position to share verified results within the next 24 hours."...
09-Aug-2011 10:54 AM
London riots spread as police lose control
Buildings ablaze as British riots spread
Rioting is spreading across London and to other cities across the nation as successive neighbourhoods succumb to looting and lawlessness.
As the third straight day of unrest came to a close, buildings and cars burned and shops continued to be vandalised and looted.
Police officers in riot gear block a road near a burning car on a street in Hackney, east London.
...Police closed streets and evacuated neighbourhoods and British Prime Minister David Cameron called a halt to his holiday and flew home to deal with the crisis.
North of the River Thames, gangs of youths roamed the streets of Hackney, while buildings were engulfed in flames south of the river in Croydon, Peckham and Lewisham.
By late on Monday night, local time, looters and vandals had descended on Clapham, in London's south-west, Notting Hill, in the city's west, and Camden in the north. Police also reported outbreaks in Newham and Bethnal Green, where about 100 people were looting a Tesco supermarket.
Disturbances were also reported in Liverpool, Leeds, Bristol and Birmingham on Tuesday morning.
The fresh waves of violence came as Mr Cameron flew home from Italy to chair an emergency meeting and meet police and government officials.
Up in flames ... a shop is set on fire as rioters gather in Croydon, south London
The violence first erupted on Saturday in the multi-ethnic neighbourhood of Tottenham in north London after a man was shot dead by police two days earlier.
Copycat violence then spread to other areas of the British capital on Sunday before reaching new districts on Monday.
In Hackney, hundreds of riot police poured in to try to contain the disturbance in a district just a few kilometres from where the 2012 Olympics will take place this time next year.
As darkness fell, officers wielding batons pushed the youths back, while residents hoping to return to their homes were kept behind police cordons.
In Croydon, a large furniture store was ablaze, sending flames leaping into the night sky.
Croydon council leader Mike Fisher told the BBC about 100 masked youths were trying to loot the building and cause further damage.
There were also reports of looters starting to target businesses in Clapham, just before 11pm.
Gangs of hooded youths carrying petrol bombs were roaming Clapham Junction, the BBC reported.
And Notting Hill was also hit just before midnight. Cars were set alight and businesses destroyed, The Guardian reported.
Shops and cars along Portobello Road were targeted by rioters, most of whom had their faces covered, the BBC reported.
In Camden, police closed down the main street and taped off the stretch between Camden and Chalk Farm underground stations, the BBC reported.
Looters rampage through a convenience store in Hackney.
Social media played an important part in the rapid spread of unrest, police said.
Youths used sites such as Twitter and messaging services on BlackBerry handsets to co-ordinate attacks.
Many messages sent using at least one of the services, called BlackBerry Messenger, are untraceable by police, unlike conventional SMS, telephone calls or emails.
BlackBerry said it would do what it could to help authorities manage the problem, the BBC reported.
Some youths posted photos of damage on Twitter and Facebook.
London's Daily Mail showed a photograph taken by one youth with a table full of looted goods, including DVDs and electrical devices.
Mr Cameron had resisted calls for his return to London but changed his mind, according to the BBC, because the situation had "demonstrably worsened".
Downing Street said the Prime Minister had been monitoring the situation from his holiday base in Tuscany on an "hourly basis"...
Police said they had arrested 215 people before Monday's violence, including an 11-year-old boy. At least 35 police officers were injured in the unrest at the weekend.
The violence even spread beyond London after police said a group of youths in Birmingham, central England, smashed shop windows in the city centre and stole merchandise, but reports said the violence was under control.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg on Monday visited homes and businesses burnt down during the riots in Tottenham.
Tensions remained high in the area following the shooting on Thursday of 29-year-old Mark Duggan, amid fresh doubts about the original account of his death during a police operation against gun crime within the black community.
The father-of-four was shot in a taxi in what was initially said to have been an exchange of gunfire. But reports said it was possible that police officers were not under attack when they opened fire.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the watchdog probing Mr Duggan's death, was expected to release the test results on Tuesday.
After the shooting, rumours spread online that he had been killed in an assassination-style execution with shots to the head - something the IPCC was forced to deny in a statement.
Cheryline Lee, a Tottenham resident in her 50s, told AFP: "The police did not give the community any information about this man who was shot.
"But burning buildings like this is much too much. People have lost their houses and people have lost their jobs as well."
'Opportunistic violence' or deep social unease
On Sunday, shops were looted and police officers pelted with stones in the southern district of Brixton; in Enfield, Walthamstow and Islington in the north and east, and on Oxford Street in the city centre.
Mr Clegg - who was officially in charge while Mr Cameron was on holiday - said there was "no excuse whatsoever" for such attacks.
"The violence we saw last night [Sunday] had absolutely nothing to do with the death of Mr Duggan. It was needless, opportunist theft and violence - nothing more and nothing less," he said.
During a tour of Tottenham, Mr Clegg struck a more conciliatory tone, saying: "Clearly this is something that leaves big scars and we need to work together to start to heal those scars."
Although police and politicians said much of the violence was opportunistic, community leaders and many residents in Tottenham said it pointed to deep social unease in the area, one of the poorest in London.
David Bennie, in his late 40s, was riding his bicycle on his way up to look at the damage.
"Quite a few people were expecting riots this summer here. The economic situation has been building up and all it needed was a spark."
Tottenham was the scene of severe rioting on the Broadwater Farm housing estate in 1985 when police constable Keith Blakelock was hacked to death.
The districts worst hit by the violence at the weekend - Tottenham, Brixton in south London, and now Hackney - are multi-ethnic areas that have high rates of unemployment.
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09-Aug-2011 02:57 PM
ya see bolt, gella and all those other islamophobs would be saying "see they are imitating muslims with their face coverings and swords. its all muslims fault!!!!!