Mark Duggan’s partner Semone Wilson

Smoking or not, Mark Duggan’s gun was loaded

The IPCC tells us that Mark Duggan didn’t fire on the police officer who shot him dead. Like all those who seek the truth, I’m glad this has been cleared up quickly. I’m also relieved that, as the violence spreads to everywhere where there are electrical goods on sale, we have been reminded about what ‘sparked off’ the original Tottenham violence. Maybe we should try to understand what took place there. But what caused everything after the initial anger in Tottenham can be better understood by reading this earlier Slog post.

So: the initial impetus came from the death of Mark Duggan. Mark Duggan, the IPCC has established, was carrying a loaded gun. In the UK, that is a very serious criminal offence. Under Section 19 of Weapons offences legislation currently in force, it has a minimum mandatory sentence of 12 months. I spoke earlier today to a retired Met officer who told me the average sentence handed out for this is three years.

We await further information as to whether Duggan displayed his loaded gun in a threatening manner towards police officers. It goes without saying that this would carry (at the discretion of the Judge) a much heavier sentence, and could be construed in some cases as attempted murder. It thus seems highly likely that, had he survived, Mark Duggan might well have spent ten years in jail.

Why was Mark carrying a loaded gun? Because – the evidence available suggests – he was involved in some way or another with drug dealing, and needed to protect himself against rival gangs. This isn’t me employing knee-jerk Dacre Mail bollocks: as I posted the day before yesterday, the Camerlot set consumes such drugs, and therefore shares the blame for their growing circulation via Duggan and half a million others engaged in the trade. Further, the evidence I refer to comes from sources that include both the Duggan family and our friends at The Guardian. The time has come to strip Mr Duggan down to the bare essentials, devoid of inflammatory language and innuendo:

* Duggan’s partner Semone Wilson has admitted Duggan was known to the police, and said he had spent some time on remand. They had three children together. They were not married. (Guardian)

* Duggan’s Facebook page, under his alias Starrish Mark, pictures him in a T-shirt bearing the words Star Gang, and reports suggest he may have had links to that group and allied north London gangs such as the Broadwater Farm Posse and Tottenham Mandem. (Guardian)

* The Voice, Britain’s leading black newspaper, has claimed that both Duggan and his best friend, 23-year-old rapper Kelvin Easton, known as Smegz, “had links to the Star Gang”, one of several criminal groups in north London whose turf wars have caused at least three deaths over the past few years.

* Easton, described by the londonstreetgangs website as an “elder” of a group collectively called the Farm Mandem, was stabbed to death with a broken champagne bottle at the Boheme nightclub in Mile End, east London, in March 2011. The murder remains unsolved.(Guardian)

*At the time of his death last Thursday he was under investigation by officers from Trident, the Met’s unit responsible for gun crime within the black community. (Guardian)

* Some of the messages posted by friends on his Facebook pages could suggest possible gang involvement, referring to Duggan variously as a “soldier”, a “true star boy” and a “five star general”. One of the messages left among the bouquets outside Duggan’s family home yesterday referred to “Gang N17 Farm”, the name of one of the Star gang’s allies. (Guardian)

I mustn’t be one-sided in any way about this. There are as many references in all the media reportage to ‘a loving Dad’, a man who ‘idolised his kids’, a bloke about whom Semone Wilson says, “If he did have a gun – which I don’t know – Mark would run. Mark is a runner. He would run rather than firing and that’s coming from the bottom of my heart”. I’m sure Semone’s view is entirely genuine; but we now know that Mark Duggan did own a gun. A loaded gun.

From what I’ve gathered so far, it seems unlikely to me that Mark Duggan was a hardened gangster, but almost certain that he was drug dealing in some form or another. Certainly, I cannot find any reference anywhere to another occupation via which he could have supported three infant children. But the bottom line is that he was carrying a loaded gun. The police apprehended him in possession of that gun, and as a result of a confrontation as yet only sketchily established, he wound up dead.

There are a great many in our society who would say he knew the risks, and paid the price. I am bound to say that I’m one of them.


52 thoughts on “MARK DUGGAN: THE FACTS

  1. If someone under Police surveillance is known to carry a ‘piece’ and a sound like a shot is heard by officers attempting to arrest this person, there are few options likely to be taken in an instant by armed officers except protection of themselves and the public. Whether or not a gun is usually only in his sock, doesnt Mark Duggan carrying a loaded gun erode the ‘innocent’ stance?

  2. Carrying a loaded gun certainly does undermine any credibility in a claim of innocence but it hardly entitles the police to carry out summary executions “just in case”. Down that route lie the bodies of Harry Stanley, Charles DeMenezes and no doubt many others. Who heard “a sound like a shot”? That sounds like fairly major evidence yet it’s the first I’ve read of it. (Please don’t read a criticism here, none is intended – I may very well have missed it)

  3. The only thing I find worrying is the disclosure that police are using hollow point ammunition, better known as dum dum bullets. It’s illegal to use or modify your ammunition in this way in the Army and it’s also against the Geneva Conventions.

  4. I am trying to keep up with your daily post. This is the most non-biased, informative piece of info, I have seen regarding the cause of the #LondonRiots by far and very well written. You are an inspiration to me and I truly appreciate your efforts. Thank you, form across the pond.

  5. And here from a BBC news programme this evening – a transcript of an interview with two girls in Croydon this morning:

    These two 17 year old girls said they had taken part in the violence in Croydon last night. They spoke to a BBC reporter as they sat drinking wine they had looted from a local shop.
    “Everyone was just on a kinda riot, just going mad, chucking things, chucking bottles.”
    “Breaking into stuff, breaking into shops. It was maddening”
    “It wuz good though.”
    “It wuz good fun!.. Yeah”
    “Course it is!”
    “Like it’s the government’s fault.”
    “I dunno”
    “Like Conservatives.”
    “Yeah! Whoever, who it is”
    “I dunno”
    “Like showing the police we can do what we want.”
    “Yes that’s what it’s all about. Showing the police we can do what we want. And now we have.”
    “It’s against people who’ve got businesses. And that’s why all this has happened, because of rich people. So we’re showing rich people we can do what we want.”

    Truly magnificent.
    Absolutely symptomatic of the “Big Society”. (Blair’s or Cameroon’s)
    Two totally illiterate, totally mindless, totally useless, totally witless, totally uneducated, totally couldn’t care bloody less little twats telling us it’s the government’s and rich people’s faults.
    Well I guess that’s a total vindication.
    Total justification.
    ‘Nuff said.
    Bring on the water cannons!
    And bring back the cat.
    Sharia Law???
    Maybe they’re right after all.

  6. Dunko
    I heard this too, and truly could not believe my ears. “Issa rich peepull innit? Issa Guvment’s fault innit?”
    Dear oh dear oh dear. Are these the products of fluffy Labour’s pc education bollocks? I suspect they are.

  7. Hollow-point will mushroom, not break up, and as a consequence it is much less likely to pass through its target and continue to present a danger. It is by far the least dangerous (to others) ammunition for use in a civilian environment.

    As regards the target, if an officer fires at someone, the intention must be to totally incapacitate them: if non-fatally, that may be fortuitous. The “shoot to wound” idea is, I’m afraid, pure Hollywood and totally unrealistic.

  8. No one is suggesting that police should not shoot to kill. That is what soldiers do anyway. This type of ammunition was outlawed at the end of the 19th century being deemed as barbaric. In the 21st Century we seem to be even more barbaric. It’s not allowed to be used by any Nato country’s armed forces, but it’s ok for civilian police. Like I posted, I find it very worrying.

  9. Pingback: Rioters leave Tottenham, North London in flames over shooting of 'gangster.' - Page 9 - U.S. Politics Online: A Political Discussion Forum

  10. @Mike Gibbens: Given the Police have to be able to open fire on armed criminals in built up areas full of bystanders, what is better, that they use hollow point ammunition, which may cause more damage to the criminal but save collateral damage to bystanders, or use military spec ammunition which may pass straight through the target, and/or ricochet off hard surfaces, and kill or main innocent civilians?

  11. no they’re the products/progeny of thatchers childen, if you ears are iffy why if you iffy ears why not try your brain then ?

    ok you got the opportunist crims & gangs but this is also an expression of anger by the inarticulate and you expect a cogent explanation?

    it was triggered by incompetence, lies, and more incompetence from the met, but that was just the spark, the resentment was always there, you know the score, its lack of opportunity not labour hand outs, i agree nu labour were nearly worse than useless but they weren’t cause, you know the score why cant you follow the logic.

    i’m asking Slog (presumably rhetorically) not the idiot far right nutters/kneejerk dumbarse tory scum who comment here

  12. Can you give me any example of a bystander not targeted by the police who has been shot by or injured by a ricochet in the last 60 years? I can’t find one instance. I have however found plenty of innocent people who have been shot and incapacitated by police in the last 50 years who did survive. Had they been shot with hollow point they would not have. The police managed without hollow point for all these years and the only other European country using hollow point is France. So it’s not so clear cut as you try to project.

  13. Duncan, i heard it, shocking but who are they to blame for their lack of education, them, their families, governments, or non tax paying rich people.

  14. those CO19… are they way camp, or what? the way they stand, legs akimbo, in their special-purpose baseball caps, with the twiddly wire behind their ears, holding their (ahem) weapon in a particularly provocative fashion. “Get you!” I would say were ever I to be apprehended by them. At which point I would expect to be executed in a fit of peak: “oooh, he made me sooo mad”, the offending perp would hiss at the inquest

  15. As a law abiding citizen I feel I must say that Mark Duggan deserved to be shot dead as he was not carrying a loaded unlicenced gun for nothing , the low life involved in riots,looting,etc should also be fired on / shot by police or army , i would also ask that people be grateful for the very difficult and underpaid job our police have to do.

    Time will prove that Mark Duggan was one of life’s dead beats who offer nothing constructive to this world…….sadly he is only one of thousands in this country who are exactly the same !

    I beg our goverment to get really tough with this situation

  16. Judge, jury and executioner. Very progressive. You obviously gave this a great deal of thought. Socrates would be very impressed with your philosophical ability.

  17. Get your facts straight. Hollow point ammunition is not banned by the Geneva Conventions (which only regulates humanitarian treatment of people in war), but the Hague Convention which was over 100 years ago, and mainly due to the mortality rate of shrapnel wounds in the field at the time. Medical treatment has come a long way since then. The ban of expanding ammunition under a certain size “is only binding for the Contracting Powers in the case of a war between two or more of them” which for the most part is today’s NATO members.

    Using HP ammunition practically guarantees that the bullet will stop when it hits your target, and you don’t have to worry about the bullet passing through the target and damaging (or killing) anything behind it. Properly chosen HP ammunition will incapacitate the target without deep penetration. This is ideal for police, but obviously not practical in a state of war.

  18. You cannot have looked very hard – there was a case just last week – the bullet that hit the policeman’s radio had passed through Duggan (albeit his arm) and failed to do its ‘job’.
    As for your survivors of being shot by the Police – unless the Police just started using HP for Duggan, surely some of the many survivors over the last 50 years were hit by HP too?

  19. Nz Police use hollow point and people do survive, I am fairly confident many of the worlds Police Forces also use similar ammunition. I am assuming that the law in the Uk is similar to that in NZ, and that Police would have similar fire orders. If the some one you believe is armed and they make a gesture / movement that makes you believe yours or someone elses life is in danger then your entitled to fire. You do not have to wait for the offender to get the gun out fire a shot at you or another before you are entitled to act. It would be madness to have it any other way, if the offender gets you first shot your not going to be able to do much!

  20. Perhaps your blog title should read ‘some facts’
    I would ask a few more questions:
    # Was Duggan a mister big or just another runner.
    # What happened to his drugs.
    # How much money was he carrying.
    # How come he was targeted, had his protection money not been paid.
    # Why did the authorities suggest that the gun was not a replica and could be fired.
    # Why couldn’t he afford a proper gun.
    Many more questions should asked and answered.

  21. “but we now know that Mark Duggan did own a gun. A loaded gun”

    Allegedly, or have we moved to the US wild west style of trial by unattributed media.

  22. Well, you don’t have to wait for the offender to fire first if you are the police-rather a different matter if you are “merely” a citizen methinks.
    This is precisely why the police (in fact all “authority”) have lost support from the citizenry. The “authorities” have criminalised the people who once supported them-but now there is trouble they want that support back. It is unlikely to be given (why should it?) but if it is, the price should be that the “authorities” listen and act on the will of the people.
    Naturally, that won’t happen. What will happen is that there will be tough talk, then measures will be enacted removing more of our freedoms, but these will only be enforced againt those who aren’t a threat, and who can’t cause any difficulty to authority.

  23. Why it would make any difference if he was a mr big or a runner,
    What happened to his drugs, what diffenece does that make he may not have been carrying any.
    Why should he be carrying money, deals can be made and payment done later.
    Why was he targetted, Police starngley enough are interested in criminals, and its a huge assumption that he was paying protection money or someone was collecting it. Wheres your evidence to suggest he was paying protection?
    If your dumb enough to carry a replica and then point it at someone expect to get shot

  24. Pingback: Riots & Education: Gutsy Gove hammers into Harman the hypocrite | The Slog

  25. So how did one copper manage to shoot another copper? — The dead, child-loving, drug-supplier certainly didn’t do it!

  26. T.boyd – do not be a judgemental fool. The man had children and was someones brother, son and father.You say he should be killed because he was a dead beat – by your standards. The non blond or blue eyed should all be dead because they were classed as vermin who would take over the world – according to the nazis! “Shoot them all!” – Khmer rouge. Puhlease!

  27. what people seem to forget is that we are a society governed by Law, A judicial system. with different roles played by different people, police apprehend,(ONLY) then there is a trial and confinement / acquital as the law dictates.
    In this case the police acted as judge jury and executioner. Before the accused is tried he is presumed innocent, therefore should not be killed. The police must uphold the law not break. two wrongs dont make a right.
    1. they had already dragged him out of the car- he was in custody
    2. the police themselves did NOT claim the gun was on him, it was was found on the scene.
    3. The bullet trajectory and where it stopped suggests the cop who fired did not consider his surrounding.He endangered the lives of his own colleagues and innocent by standers.
    4.Police should not become thugs to stop thugs. They should let the law take its course not provide a short cut to justice, real or imagined

  28. If anyone has a loaded gun it must be asumed that the intention is to use it in order to kill or seriously injure someone. British Law (law which is put in place to protect British people) prohibits the use of firearms. Where an individual uses a firearm (loaded, unloaded, replica or otherwise) he/she is a threat to British poeple and British Law. Duggan may well have been a “good guy” but the moment he picked up a fiearm he was a threat to British citizens. Our Police Force (the guys and girls who put themselves on the front line to protect British citizens) should be praised and respected,

  29. I’m sorry but hollow-point bullets are safer for the police to use, they are less likely to keep going through things and into innocent people.

    They are not against the Geneva Conventions, but the Hague Conventions by technicality (the Hague Convention dating back to 1899, very out of date).

  30. Someone armed is not a threat to life until the weapon is in their hands with intent to kill. If he wasn’t a threat to life there needs to be serious action taken against the police who shot him, you can’t make mistakes like that.

  31. I dont’ care if they deliberately cranked him – Duggan’s uncle Des Noonan from Manchester admitted murdering 27 people, and was a Yardie drug dealer, who ‘lovely famlee man mark’ got his supplies from. The Facebook ‘tribute page’ to dear Mark appears to be run by the ‘University of Manchester’ – perhaps friends of the now dead Noonan. I feel no sympathy at all, and frankly don’t care if the Police shot himwhilst he was squatting on the loo reading the bible. It seems fair comment to urinate on the floral tributes they’ve sellotaped to the place of the shooting.

  32. If proof were needed that Mark Duggan was not the sweet family man his family and friends are trying to portray the following is taken frn Facebook……..i know what u did with the gun on tottnam high rd and all though its been a long time i still miss u but u did know after what u did to that kid u always said u would go out like this, i can see the smile on ur face looking down at all this, good look wherever u ended up dont forget to pay the ferry man starrrrrrrr xxxxxxxxxxx raindrops (only u ever called me that) will miss u no matter what u did ok
    Wednesday at 5:05am

    James Weston Talk about airin your man s laundry :( why not just ill never forget you???
    Wednesday at 2:02pm · 2 peopleLoading….Louise Michelle Hutchinson kind of a two ended tribute !!! for all the hard work people are doing to stop the media filled hatred on this page this post has jus sent it all back 10 days !!! dry snitching at its worst in the worst possible place !!!
    Wednesday at 2:30pm · 1 personLoading….Sarah Smith he wasnt my man but he did look after me and i want to be honest to him and to myself so sorry if that offends u, i dont care about the papers and mark would be laughing and pleased that i wrote what i did as he would know that i forgive him and thats what he wanted from me for many yrs so plz stop worrying about the people that dont know him and remember him with honesty not a portrail of who u want him to be!!!!!!!
    Wednesday at 5:38pm.Louise Michelle Hutchinson somethings are better kept private this is a page set up by and looked a by his family somethig you may like to remember !
    Wednesday at 6:20pm · 5 peopleLoading….James Weston Very true you dont need to write it for the world to see angel s have special talents an they know wot we think so keep it personal yeah. Think not about yourself but his family .
    Thursday at 12:05am · 3 peopleLoading….Shabnum Durbarree Sarah Smith……WTF?!?!
    Thursday at 9:59pm · 2 peopleLoading….Mimi Blackwidowspider we all have memmories of mark in one way or another,but real talk some things u gota keep to urself ,u cant b airing stuff like that!! mark was a discreet guy im sure he wouldnt want u airin stuff like that ,its just givin ppl more ammo in makin him look bad.think about it..
    Yesterday at 12:57pm · 1 personLoading….Lonnie Louu By the way a conversation is between more than 1 person, it can not be a conversation without a response isn’t the saying Dont add fuel to the fire!!!! some people need to decide who’s side their really on! is it the police or marks family and friends… if there on the side of the police then this is not the page for Dem!!!!

  33. This dude is dead because he had a gun. simples. What is all the fuss about? don’t carry guns kids or you are likely to get shot. It’s pretty straightforward.

  34. Ask yourself – what positive contribution did Duggan make to society – if the answer is none, or very little, then expect this to be the amount that he is missed by that society. Killed before being able to produce the hat-trick of multiple children from 3 or more women before the age of thirty.

    I for one do not give a hoot and must admit to an increasing tendancy to feel quite pleased when these gangster hoodlums ‘bust a cap’ in eachother.

  35. A white Irish Yardie drug dealer? By all means have an opinion, but perhaps try to reach it with common sense and fact rather than rumours based on bias and fiction?

  36. Pingback: Mark Duggan, Police fit-ups, Water Cannons, Boris Johnson, riots, looting, drugs, Chipping Norton, and Theresa May | The Slog.

  37. Pingback: John Ward – Mark Duggan, Police Fit-Ups, Water Cannons, Boris Johnson, Riots, Looting, Drugs, Chipping Norton, And Theresa May – 9 January 2014 | Lucas 2012 Infos

  38. If you want run around with guns then expect the consequences . If you want to deal drugs then your not worth a life neither. Imagine if we gave into this kind of society that live in denial of their wrongdoings to society. The Tottenham riots are just an example of what would face us if this scum where to get their way. That’s why there is a police force, to protect our society from exactly these people.
    Look at some countries around the world and look what’s in charge there. Chaos , poverty and mass corruption.Enough said

  39. if you transport or deliver death in the form of a loded wepon, you should expext to bay thw price, be gansta and be a big boy, and donty winge when it goes wrong!

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