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January 11, 2014updated 13 Jan 2014 2:29pm

Media blamed by family for demonising slain ‘gangster’ suspect Mark Duggan

By Darren Boyle

The aunt of slain suspected gangster Mark Duggan has blamed the media for organising “a campaign” against her nephew.

Carole Duggan told hundreds of protestors outside Tottenham Police station this afternoon that the 29-year-old was not a criminal and was a victim.

She claimed areas such as Tottenham were victims of police oppression.

She said: "The more we people come together and support each other, maybe we can make a better life for our children, for all of those children who have to live in these communities that are over-policed, where they are not free.

"They don't have the same freedom as other children in other parts of the country and that's not fair.

"What we have got to remember – Mark isn't here and we are doing this for his children.

"So let's show the country that we are not this gangster family that the media has been systematically portraying us as.

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"Mark was not a gangster, the media sustained a campaign against him.

"We're just an ordinary family."

A jury found that an armed police office was justified in shooting Duggan after he collected a firearm from a criminal contact in August 2011.

The shooting led to several days of rioting across London and several other cities.

Carole Duggan said the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) should reopen the investigation into her nephew’s death.

She said: "Mark did not get the justice he deserved from the inquest, so therefore we have no alternative but to go back to basics, start at the beginning.

"The beginning was with the IPCC – what we really want the IPCC to do now is what they should have done in the beginning and that is a thorough investigation.

"On numerous occasions during the IPCC investigation they were criticised, they were hauled up and they were accused of incompetence, which they admitted to, so it's nothing they don't already know.

"They know they're incompetent, they know they didn't do a thorough job because they were investigating their own people – 65% of IPCC members are ex-police, and I believe that's why Mark did not get the justice he should have got."

Police believed that Duggan was a senior member of the Tottenham Man Dem gang and linked him to several shootings.

However he did not have any serious criminal convictions.

Protesters described the inquest’s finding as “perverse”.

Members of the Duggan family have called for calm despite rising tension in the area.

Protestors carried placards calling for “Justice for Mark” as they held their rally outside the police station.

Members of various Trade Unions as well as the Socialist Workers Party also expressed support.

Members of the group chanted “no justice, no peace” followed by “Who are the murderers? Police are the murders”.

However London’s top firearms officer Commander Neil Basu said his officers as well as the Duggan family have been “effectively under suspicion” for three years.

Speaking to The Guardian, Basu said: "I think the investigations are emotionally intolerable.

"First of all, for the family it can't be right that they have to wait three years, and it cannot be right that firearms officers have to wait and their families have to wait for the same length of time.

"As head of armed policing in London this has been an extremely difficult experience but an awful experience for the family.”

He also criticised suggestions that firearms officers should be arrested and interviewed under criminal caution.

"There is a groundswell of opinion that somehow a firearms officers who discharges their weapon and shoots someone has become guilty of a crime or misconduct offence, until proven innocent," he said.


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