Initial ballistics tests suggest bullet lodged in officer’s radio during incident in Tottenham was police issue
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 .
The Guardian understands that 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 Duggan.
On Saturday night 26 police officers were injured, eight requiring hospital treatment, in clashes with around 300 rioters in Tottenham that saw buildings and vehicles torched, shops looted and residents forced to flee their homes.
Police have arrested 55 people as a major investigation began into the escalation of violence, which followed a peaceful demonstration to demand “justice” for Duggan, 29, a father of four shot dead on Thursday evening after being stopped in a taxi near Tottenham Hale. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an inquiry into the shooting.
Initial reports from the IPCC were that during an apparent exchange of fire police officers from C019 fired two shots and Duggan died at the scene. The suggestion was that officers could have come under fire from a minicab carrying Duggan. Much of this assumption came from the fact that a bullet had lodged in a police radio worn by an officer at the scene – raising speculation he might have been fired at from the vehicle. A non-police issue handgun was also recovered at the scene where Duggan was shot dead in Ferry Road.
The latest developments come as one community organiser suggested the handgun recovered was found in a sock and therefore not ready for use. It is likely to fuel anger on the streets of Tottenham and elsewhere in London if it provides evidence that officers were not under attack at the time they opened fire on Duggan.
The IPCC said on Sunday: “We await further forensic analysis to enable us to have a fuller and more comprehensive account of what shots were discharged, the sequence of events and what exactly happened. In the meantime we would request people are patient while we seek to find answers to the questions raised by this incident.”