Police and Controversy… Let it be?


Mark Duggan was shot in 2011.  On Thursday V53, the police officer who shot him, was determined to have been lawful in his actions when he did so. I really commend the family for their actions yesterday in calling for calm, it was a brave thing to do considering they could have easily started unknown amounts of unrest, which I imagine could have spiralled out of control into something much much worse. However, I feel, maybe even equally dare I say it, for the poor man who took the shot. I know that we do not who this man is, and never will thankfully. Still. He must be going through Lord knows what with all this media coverage and statements from people who knew Mark; I believe one person even said that Mark was executed, which means that police man is deemed to be an executor. Surely though he was simply doing his job? HIs duty? I know a person in a job such as his has a large amount of responsibility sitting on his shoulders, for this reason, but at the end of the day he made a split second decision. Split second. 

Can we condemn someone for a split second decision?  Well, yes. We do all the time. A lot of decisions are unforgivable no matter how long it took you to consider what you were doing; murder, or killing somebody, being top of the list I would guess. However, the jury have had time to consider the mans actions, in major slow motion one could say; and, on looking at all the evidence, they have decided that his decision can be maintained. It was lawful. Whilst doing his job as a firearms officer V53 made a decision to shoot a known gang-criminal, whom he knew to have had a gun in his possession just moments before, because he thought that the man was about to shoot him. They would have done the same thing, it implies. So. It seems that we should trust their decision. That is justice. That is how is works – we defer to a randomly selected group of people. Though the family are going to trying appealing the decision I believe.

The ins-and-outs of the evidence is unknown to me. I know the gun was in the taxi before the taxi stopped, and I know it was found on the other side of the fence by the police. I know the jury said that the gun must have been thrown by Mark after the cab stopped and before the police got out. Or so it said in the I on Thursday, amongst other places.

But then I watched Question Time last night and a lesser-known conservative woman (the political party not the adjective), whose name escapes me, said the gun was thrown by Mark as the police were stood there. Hence the policeman shot him thinking he was going to shoot rather than throw the gun. This is a massive discrepancy because, in my opinion, it makes the difference between unlawful killing and self-defence. The difference between armed and unarmed. 

Anyway. My point here is that the facts clearly haven’t been passed on with utter transparency by the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission). We know, in any case, that in the first month they were not told truthfully to the media, who were initially told (according the I on Thursday) that it was a “shoot-out”; Mark’s own mother didn’t even have any news passed to her for the first four weeks, according to another women that was on the Question Time panel last night. This, without a doubt, does not implore us to be more trusting of their (the police? Or the IPCC?) words and actions than we generally have, or haven’t should I say, of late.

I’m sure many people would like to see more from the IPCC, when they are investigating occurrences such as this, in order for us to be able to trust them, and the police, slightly more than we in general seem to at the minute; for instance, when informing the media and the public of the facts. Further to this – for their role in all of this to be made more clear to the public from the outset. It’s all well and good saying they aren’t doing their job properly when, I am not going to lie, we probably don’t actually know what their job is fully meant to be!

Nonetheless, in this case my conclusion is that perhaps we should let them be. The decision is made, the case is over. Let V53 be, let Mark be, and let Mark’s family be.

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