Sunday, August 07, 2011


A community vigil for a man slain by police in the north London neighborhood of Tottenham turned bloody last night as rioting broke out and dozens were arrested.

Rioters took advantage of a vigil for a man killed by police and turned violent Saturday night, tossing petrol bombs and "missiles" at officers and looting stores, London's Metropolitan Police said Sunday.

"The behavior by a criminal minority put police officers, fire brigade personnel and the public at significant risk," Cmdr. Adrian Hanstock said in a statement.

At least 42 people were arrested and 26 officers were injured, police said.

The violence came amid protests over the killing of Mark Duggan, who was riding in a cab when he was killed Thursday. Police stopped the cab in an attempted arrest, and soon shots were fired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The commission did not say who shot the 29-year-old, nor why the cab was stopped.

"The death of Mr. Duggan is extremely regrettable," Hanstock said. "It is absolutely tragic that someone has died, but that does not give a criminal minority the right to destroy businesses" and "steal from their local community."

The Duggan shooting has set off what has already been a rough stretch for London in recent months.  Tottenham is part of London's black communities and relations between the people and police haven't been good.  Duggan's shooting on Thursday came as a shock to many in the neighborhood as he was pulled over for what London Metro police were calling a "pre-planned" arrest as part of Operation Trident, the city's anti-gun task force.

The main problem is that the police have yet to give a clear answer as to why Duggan was shot, only that shots were fired.  All we know for sure is that the weekend vigil for Duggan's death turned violent last night.

There are a lot of unanswered questions here.