By Duchess of Hackney

Hackney livin' n lovin'. Sarky frosty knickers always gobby, and perpetually pissed off for good reasons. Wind up merchant extraordinaire, but a nice old fashioned unusually unusual gal... Writing lots of wrongs.

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The vilifying of Mark Duggan, his family and friends.

Say what you want

I’m aware of the errors the Met Police have made in the past, when they have shot to death innocent people, so I’m not wrong in reserving judgement in Mark Duggan’s case as it would be too easy to label Duggan just another bad guy that had it coming. We don’t need state sanctioned executions in the UK.

It began right after his shooting, when the Met Police must have realised that they had cocked up knowing they may have shot an unarmed man. Soon after, leaks were made and in a short time the general public came to know the police gunshot victim (they’d prefer suspect, but lets stick to victim) as a cold-blooded gangster, who was planning a revenge attack following the stabbing death of his cousin in a club last winter.

How did the media hear of all this? Certainly wasn’t from Mark Duggan’s friends and family, yup you guessed right,  it came from the police.

Look I’m not going to kid myself into thinking the dude was a saint, because I don’t know anything except what I have been able to decipher from news reports. If his gangsta affiliations are correct, I may find myself in an awkward position defending someone who is the very scourge of our community, and everything I abhor about the ‘gangsta’ influence on young people and a person who is a conduit to the number one problem in Black UK today.

I’m aware of the errors the Met Police have made in the past, when they have shot to death innocent people, so I’m not wrong in reserving judgement in Mark Duggan’s case, as it would be too easy to label Duggan just another bad guy that had it coming. We don’t need state sanctioned executions in the UK.

On 8th July 2005, they pumped 7 bullets into Jean Charles Menezes’s head in Stockwell station, after they misidentified him as one of the fugitives involved in the July 7 London bombings.

Then there was the case of Harry Stanley, right here in Hackney 12 years ago, who also was shot in the head by police marksmen who were convinced the table leg wrapped in a plastic bag, he was carrying was a sawed off gun.  Stanley had just left his brothers home where he was helping to repair a table. He was 100 yards away from his home, when as a result of a phone tip-off of an “Irish man” carrying a gun in a plastic bag, he was targeted.

In Duggan’s case there appears to be a deliberate effort to sully his name right from the start,  something The institute of Race Relations says it is common practise whenever there is a Black person shot by the police;

Stereotyping the victim

On examining deaths that have occurred over the years involving members of the African-Caribbean community in particular, it becomes clear that, in the immediate aftermath of death, information is placed in the public domain, citing unnamed police sources, which casts doubt on the character of the deceased, tending to frame him as a violent and dangerous black criminal. This information is released long before any investigation, post-mortem or inquest has been carried out. The victim is said to be a habitual drug user, a drug dealer, someone with a violent past etc, all of which not only pre-judges the victim but also provides vindication for police action such as a stop, a search or use of force or particular restraint techniques. In this way, the media and the police create a particular framework for dealing with incidents involving the police and the African-Caribbean community, one in which extreme force against black criminality is seen as a necessary evil.

By the end of the week following Mark Duggan’s death, the campaign about him was in full swing. We were told by unnamed police sources that the police officer involved had ‘an honest-held belief that he was in imminent danger of him and his colleagues being shot’. Mark Duggan had already been labelled a ‘gangster’ or ‘suspected gangster’ and the Daily Telegraph and the Sun, amongst others, had published stories that he was linked to ‘Manchester gangsters’.[13] The Daily Mail went even further claiming that ‘Duggan was a “crack dealer” linked to a string of feared gangs’.[14] We were served up the threat of guns, gangsters and drugs, the perfect combination for the Met police to absolve themselves of culpabilty for the death.

Scenes like this from Mark Duggan’s funeral proved a little too much for the haters including the gutter press usual suspects.

Their ploy worked judging from public response on the day of his funeral and after. It seems that the sight of Duggan’s grandiose send off to his maker was more than many could handle. What did they expect? A paupers funeral in a cheap plywood box? To the hater’s it wasn’t a son, father, brother and friend being buried, it was a ‘gangsta’, which made all those in attendance gang associates and criminals.

And the pièce de résistance? The Daily Mail’s attempt to whip it’s reader’s into a predictable frenzy, by sensationalizing some innocuous street sign/salute a group of mourners decided to give his passing coffin. They hailed it a “gangsta’s salute” evoking sinister undertones and described all the “bling” mourners wore.

Some comments left on the Sky News website:

batten down the hatches here we go again, once the funeral is finished i expect its looting time, most of what was taken has been sold by now so the looters will need more to sell, i hope it does`nt happen but don`t be surprised if it does

Glad they shot this drug dealer, police should not be prosecuted for this, and his brother has the nerve to say on national TV, my brother was a good man and no drug dealer, looking at his brother, he’s probably involved also. No doubt as this is a gangland funeral, wood green will be safe for a few hours, while all the criminals attend the funeral. Don’t worry, it’s Friday Night, back to normal tonight, with the robberies, muggings, drug deals,

Who will be paying the bill for this man’s funeral? Is it the taxpayer? It makes me sick when I see this sort of thing happening. At least there is one certainty. White horses don’t get you to Heaven any quicker.

The cortege rolling through Tottenham

Ostentatious funerals isn’t just for royalty, heads of state or the wealthy and Mark Duggan’s family should be able to say good-bye to him any which way they want, regardless of what he may have been, they have nothing to be ashamed of.

Only last week I witnessed a helluva a funeral cortege driving down Mount Pleasant Lane in Upper Clapton.  It was a Black family – someones grandmother –  at least 5 limos and a Black female funeral conductor in top hat, coat and tails leading the procession on foot. I doubt they were wealthy, but you know what? That just how it rolls.

In the meantime I’ll keep an open-mind and await the IPCC’s ruling on Mark Duggans death.

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