Hundreds Gather for London Funeral Following Riots

Posted September 9th, 2011 at 1:55 pm (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Hundreds of mourners have gathered for the funeral of a man killed by police in an incident that sparked several days of riots in London and other British cities last month.

The funeral of Mark Duggan took place Friday in the Tottenham district in north London. His coffin was in a white carriage pulled by four horses, and was adorned with flowers spelling out the words “grandson,” “son” and “dad.”

Authorities are investigating the circumstances surrounding Duggan's death. The 29-year-old father of four was fatally shot by police on August 5 while traveling in a taxi stopped by a unit investigating armed crime in Tottenham. Tottenham is a depressed neighborhood that is home to many ethnic minorities and has a history of racial tensions.

Some reports said Duggan shot a handgun at police when they stopped his taxicab. But a police report said a handgun found at the scene had not been fired.

After the shooting, Tottenham residents began a peaceful protest demanding justice for Duggan. But the protest turned violent, with demonstrators throwing stones at police, smashing store windows and setting fire to cars. Buildings also were set ablaze.

The violence spread to other parts of London and Britain, including the cities of Manchester and Birmingham. Five people died in the riots.

Some Tottenham residents say the riots were also spurred by anger over the gloomy economic situation in north London, specifically high unemployment and reduced public services.

The riots came as London prepares to host the 2012 Olympic Games. London Mayor Boris Johnson has sought to assure the world that the city is safe.