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Mark Duggan Jurors Verbally Abused After 'Lawful Killing' Verdict

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Mark Duggan did not have a gun in his hand when he was shot by police, a jury has found, but ruled that his killing by a policeman was lawful by a majority of 8-2. People screamed "murderers" and a door was smashed as the jury delivered their verdict at the Royal Courts of Justice, reporters said.

One supporter told journalists in the courtroom: "A black life ain't worth nothing, print that." Mr Duggan's brother shouted "fuck them" as the jurors left court, while angry protesters also gathered outside the building shouting: "No justice, no peace, fuck the police".

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A man points and shouts at Assistant Commissioner Mark Rowley as he addresses the media

Duggan, who was 29, was gunned down when police stopped the taxi in which he was travelling in Tottenham, north London, in August 2011. His death sparked protests that exploded into riots and looting across the country.

Groups gathered in the courtyard of the historic Royal Courts of Justice after Wednesday's verdict, consoling each other, as a smell of cannabis lingered in the air.

He was being followed by officers who believed he planned to pick up a gun from another man, Kevin Hutchinson-Foster, and then move on to Broadwater Farm, also in Tottenham.

Jurors at the Royal Courts of Justice decided that he did have a gun but it was not in his hand when he was shot.

The panel of seven women and three men said that police had not done enough to gather and react to intelligence about the possibility of Mr Duggan collecting a gun from Hutchinson-Foster.

But they found that the car had been stopped in a location and in a way that "minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force".

Scotland Yard has been placed at a 'heightened state of readiness' for fresh disorder following the verdict, the Mail Online reported.

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Mark Duggan was killed by police in August 2011

Outside the High Court, the family's solicitor Marcia Willis Stewart said: "On August 4, 2011 an unarmed man was shot down in Tottenham. Today we have had what we can only call a perverse judgment. The jury found that he had no gun in his hand and yet he was gunned down. For us that's an unlawful killing."

As her words were interspersed with shouting from a gathered crowd, she went on: "The family are in a state of shock and we would ask that you respect their shock. They can't believe that this has been the outcome. No gun in his hand and yet he was killed - murdered as they have said, no gun in his hand."

A Home Office spokeswoman said: "The police do a vitally important job, so it is right they are held to the highest possible standards and subject to rigorous examination. The inquest jury has given its verdict on the incident in which Mark Duggan lost his life. The IPCC will now continue with its investigation, taking into account the evidence heard during the inquest. While that process is ongoing it would be inappropriate to comment further."

Mr Duggan's aunt Carole Duggan said: "For as long as it takes, God give my family strength." She said: "The majority of the people in this country know that Mark was executed. We are going to fight until we have no breath left in our body for Mark and his children." Vowing not to give up, she added: "No justice, no peace."

The father-of-six's brother Shaun Hall said: "We came for justice today, we don't feel we are leaving with justice." He added: "We've got nothing to hide. We don't feel we have got anything to hide for. We have got nothing to hide, we have done nothing wrong. We will still fight for justice."

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Tempers were raised outside the Royal Courts of Justice following the verdict

Deborah Coles, from the charity Inquest, said Mr Duggan's family were considering whether to apply for the decision to be judicially reviewed. "The family are going to consider the next steps and are going to consider whether they will judicially review the decision. As far as the family and the community are concerned this isn't the end. They will continue to strive for justice."

Temperatures boiled over outside the Royal Courts of Justice as uniformed assistant commissioner Mark Rowley made a statement. He could not be heard and protesters jostled waiting journalists. The angry crowd shouted "murderer" and "murdering scum".

Others called out "who killed Mark Duggan? The police killed Mark Duggan." As security staff tried to disperse the crowd and shield the officer, chants of "liars, racists, murderers, scum" rang out.

In the statement issued through Scotland Yard later, Mr Rowley said: "No officer sets out at the start of the day to run an operation that results in someone dying. So our sympathy today is with Mark Duggan's family. They have lost a loved one.
"But the task our officers face in making split-second decisions when confronting armed criminals means there is a risk - a very small risk - that this will happen.

"Armed criminals have shot dead more than 50 people in London in the last three and a half years. We send out well-trained, professional armed officers thousands of times a year to combat this threat, only firing shots once or twice. These careful tactics have significantly reduced gun crime.

"It is significant, then, that a jury of Londoners, who have seen and heard all the evidence, have today concluded that not only was the operation to stop Mark Duggan in the taxi conducted in a way which minimised to the greatest extent possible recourse to lethal force, but that Mark Duggan had a gun, and also that our officer had an honest and reasonable belief that Mark Duggan still had the gun when he shot him.

"We know the trust is not shared by everyone. I will be offering to meet Mark Duggan's family to express our sorrow. And we will continue working with local leaders to strengthen relationships. We know it will take time."

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