Police Shooting That Sparked British Riots Was Lawful, Says Jury

Mark Duggan's shooting by armed police provoked violence across the U.K. in 2011

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A British jury said Wednesday that the killing of an unarmed man by police officers in London in August 2011 was lawful, a move that may inflame anger at the police in the U.K. two years after the shooting sparked destructive riots throughout the country.

Suspected gangster Mark Duggan, 29, was shot dead by armed police officers in Tottenham, north London after they forced a taxi cab he was traveling in to a stop. His death set off riots in London, Manchester, Birmingham and other British cities, where hundreds of stores were torched or ransacked over four nights of violence.

Jurors at the Royal Courts of Justice determined in an 8-to-2 vote that Duggan was lawfully killed, despite not having a gun when he was shot by officers. The jury determined he had thrown a firearm from the taxi moments before he was killed.

The verdict was greeted with screams and shouts in the courtroom. “A black life ain’t worth nothing,” one man shouted, according to the BBC.