Something I wrote about the riots for IDOL

Last week Thursday a man named Mark Duggan was shot and killed by three undercover police officers during a Trident operation. The anarchy that has since ensued on our ‘civilized’ country has opened everyone’s eyes to how quickly we break our social norms given the right environment and also how fragile the bonds are that tie us to our knowledge of right from wrong.

The root of the mayhem can be traced back to the three undercover police men, who unfortunately, executed their operation very badly. Imagine if they had not shot to kill and only disarmed Mark? It is unlikely that the following would have unfolded.

The initial story that was reported by the media stated that Duggan was armed and fired at police, thus resulting in the police returning fire and fatally shooting Duggan. To further cement this story we were also told that the initial shot from Mark Duggan would have actually killed one of the police officers had it not been for the police officer’s radio where the bullet was lodged.

This was one of the first mistakes the police made. Witnesses at the scene and friends and family of Mark insisted he did not have a gun and could not have fired at the police. This would mean he was unlawfully killed and the media were reporting a lie.

The second mistake by the MET was their lack of urgency when it came to speaking to the family. It took the police one and a half days to inform the family of why he was killed. An act that left many unanswered questions and further incited anger within the community.

To paint Mark Duggan as a complete angel would be naïve. He was the focus of an undercover trident operation and this suggests that he was unlikely to have just been someone in the wrong place at the wrong time. However the issue with this case is that as the story progresses we are beginning to uncover discrepancies within the story we were first told. Such as the fact that we now know the bullet found in the police officers radio was a police issued bullet, therefore it is highly unlikely that Duggan did shoot at police.

This begs the question of whether he really did shoot at the police and even if he actually had a gun in the first place. All this and more needs to be addressed by our London met but unfortunately the violence and criminality that has spread around the UK has made it easier for the force to sweep these matters under the carpet as our community and government focus on how to deal with these rioters.

The protest began peacefully outside Tottenham police station. Family and friends of Mark Duggan gathered outside wanting answers regarding the circumstances surrounding his death. Tensions rose when police vans pulled up and the family were left waiting outside for 5 hrs before being spoken to. As night fell a 16 year old girl allegedly walked up to a group of police and asked why they had killed Mark Duggan. She apparently threw stones at them and her placard; in turn the police hit her with a baton, knocking her to the ground. This Resulted in the crowd attacking the police and turning on their community. The outcome of that day in Tottenham has produced devastating effects throughout the country.

Within days the rioting spread throughout London, creating a feeling of fear and helplessness amongst Londoners. The issues surrounding Mark Duggan were forgotten and instead an interest in obtaining new trainers, TV’s and tracksuits prevailed. London boroughs have been heavily damaged with many left homeless or jobless, as the mob mentality of the rioters have caused them to attack independent businesses and the homes of people in their own community. From London the rioting then spread across the country even as far as Bristol. When questioning the rioters about what had provoked them, few had anything to say other than blaming their background and the government. Others when spoken to off camera just said they wanted “free things” or “Mark Duggan who?”.

However the previous image of teenage youths being the only rioters is currently being blown out of the water, with a primary school worker and a millionaire’s daughter being among the first looters to be fast tracked through the courts. Convicted rioters have been warned that they could lose their council houses, assuming that the only rioters were from backgrounds of poverty. Clearly that threat will do nothing to scare the millionaires’ daughter.

The main media also need to be careful about how they are portraying the riots. Publications such as the Daily Mail appear to be heavily obsessed with race in regards to the rioters. This is only helping to rile up nationalist groups who are now using the situation for their own agenda. This can be seen in the unrest that occurred in Eltham a few days ago and rumours of Mosques being highlighted for attack. As the rioting dies down the police and the people involved in the riots will have a lot to answer for. With whispers of insurance and taxes being hiked up and mumblings of curfews, lets hope the next step does not result in the innocent people of England having to also take the fall for this spell of confusion, ignorance and violence.

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