The entire country has been waiting to hear the details surrounding the death of Mark Duggan, whose shooting by police officers sparked the London riots in August last year. But a pre-inquest held on Monday heard that sensitive material relating to the police’s decision to shoot may not be disclosed.
Duggan was shot to death on 4 August 2011 in Tottenham by police officers who had been following him. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) apparently have information about the 29-year-old’s death that cannot be properly disclosed to a coroner, although they’ve refused to say why. If this is the case then a judge may hold a special inquiry into why firearms were used by police officers, which will take place in secret and therefore will not allow Duggan’s family to truly understand what happened.
Carole, Duggan’s aunt told the Daily Mail:
We believe the IPCC are withholding information from us. Maybe they think we will go away, come to terms with what has happened, but we are a grieving family and we will always grieve for Mark.
The ‘delay tactics’ being used by the IPCC has meant that a public inquiry still hasn’t taken place and his family fear the case may become like that of Azelle Rodney who was shot by police in 2005 and is yet to have a public enquiry seven years later.
Coroner Andrew Walker said:
We anticipate that the IPCC may be in possession of material that would be relevant to the issue of police decision making but could not be disclosed even to the coroner… I want the family to understand that that may mean that an inquest cannot proceed.
If the inquiry doesn’t go ahead there is still a legal requirement for an alternative one to be held, however a representative of the IPCC has said its report into the killing will be released by early Autumn.
A hearing could take place in January 2013 if the issue of disclosure is resolved, but until then there will be a further pre-inquest review in October.