Prime Minister David Cameron calls for calm in wake of Duggan inquest verdict
14:37 09 January 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
David Cameron has appealed for a calm response to the inquest verdict that Mark Duggan was lawfully shot dead by police despite being unarmed.
The Prime Minister said he hoped people would respect the “proper judicial process” and welcomed the stance taken by Mr Duggan’s aunt Carole, who said she wanted “no more violence”.
The comments came as the Metropolitan Police set out to rebuild trust with London’s black communities in the wake of the controversial killing.
Challenged about anger within the black community, Mr Cameron acknowledged there was still racial prejudice in the UK but efforts were being made to “break down the barriers”.
Speaking to BBC London, Mr Cameron said: “We have to respect judicial processes in this country, we have to respect the outcome of trials and the work that juries do.
"I very much respect Mark Duggan’s aunt for saying they want to pursue their case through the courts rather than on the streets, I think that’s absolutely right."
“I very much respect Mark Duggan’s aunt for saying they want to pursue their case through the courts rather than on the streets, I think that’s absolutely right.
“I have huge respect for [Met Police Commissioner Sir] Bernard Hogan-Howe, who I know is ready to meet with the family if they would like and recognises how much more important work we still have to do to make sure the police have the confidence of every community in London.”
He added: “These issues raise very strong emotions but I hope people can react calmly and recognise that we have proper judicial processes in this country and they are the ones that must be followed and respected.”
Mr Cameron said he understood the strength of feeling within the black community but stressed society was changing.
“I do understand it because we have been on a journey in our country from a time when there was very bad levels of racial prejudice, very bad levels of discrimination, not proper avenues of opportunity.
“We are on a journey, we haven’t cracked all these problems. There is still racial prejudice, there is still discrimination.
“But I think what you can see is governments of all colours, whether Labour or Conservative, have been trying to break down these barriers and trying to end discrimination and try and make sure that people are valued for the passion in their heart and the thoughts in their head rather than the colour of their skin or their sexuality.”
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said there are “questions to be asked” about how investigations into police shootings are handled.
He said he “totally understood” the angry reaction to the finding in some quarters, but stressed the case had been considered by a jury.
Tensions appeared to have been heightened because communications between officers and local people broke down during the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) probe, he said.
Following the verdict his aunt Carole Duggan cried out “no justice, no peace” - but she insisted she was not calling for a repeat of the rioting which followed the shooting in 2011.
On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme she said she wanted “no more demonstrations, no more violence” - but the “struggle” would go on for answers.
But she said she was not yet ready to meet Sir Bernard and the family was still in “turmoil” about the case.
“The family are still in shock right now about the result of yesterday,” she said. “We are in turmoil. We don’t really know what’s going to happen at this point. There will be something further down the line, I’m sure.”
She said the IPCC had been “incompetent in their investigation from the beginning” and there was a need for a thorough investigation.
“We do need to go back to the IPCC, we have a lot of questions for them. We really do need a thorough investigation. It’s clear the IPCC didn’t do that in the beginning. If they had done that, the jury may have come to a different conclusion.”
She added: “No more demonstrations, no more violence. We will have to fight this, go through the struggle, peacefully through the right channels, to get justice for as long as it takes.”