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article imageOp-Ed: After Stephen Lawrence, what about Mark Duggan?

By Alexander Baron     Jan 5, 2012 in Crime
London - It had to happen. The convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris for the murder of Stephen Lawrence has opened the floodgates, and the lunatics have come out to play.
The front page of The Independent today is filled with a big spread about other racist killings. Or maybe not. Such is the nature of the Internet driven global village that now the story of the racist murder of Lakhvinder Reel has spread to the New Zealand local press, as have the statistics bandied about by the Institute of Race Relations. The reality is that Reel was out drinking with friends, had a bit too much, and ended up dead in the river. There was some speculation that he was urinating, and fell in. The inquest returned an open verdict, as was proper, but the victim's mother has become fixated with his death being due to foul play, by those wicked racists who are everywhere, it seems.
While there is nothing romantic about being murdered, by anyone, that idea may be more acceptable to some people than an equally unnecessary death brought about by too much drink and an urge to urinate.
The Institute of Race Relations sounds like an academic think tank, to those who are not familiar with it; it is actually a Marxist organisation, and doesn't even bother to hide it. Thirty years ago it produced an insidious series of propaganda pamphlets on the theme of Roots Of Racism, the aim of which was to brainwash the next generation of British schoolkids. Any gullible person reading one of these pamphlets would have been left with the impression that the British or even the White Race had never produced anything of benefit to anyone throughout history. After all, what use are Magna Carta, the internal combustion engine or penicillin to mankind? All statistics churned out by this organisation deserve severe scrutiny, but let's take a peek into its database.
Here is an article by one of its activists, Liz Fekete, from ten years ago, about another race attack victim. Not. Satpal Ram. What does she say? “Clarke Pearce stabbed Ram twice, in the face and wrist. Ram, attempting to defend himself, pulled out the knife he used at work. Both men were taken to hospital, but Pearce refused hospital treatment for his injuries and later died.”
Yes, parroting the lies of the Free Satpal Campaign. For the documented facts about this murderer, click here. And guess who signed the petition for Satpal Ram? Imran Khan the solicitor for Doreen Lawrence, and Sukhdev Reel, the mother of the aforementioned Lakhvinder Reel.
The lunatics have become so infected with their own poison that they have begun to devour themselves; the latest to come under attack is the black MP Diane Abbott who is said to have made a racist tweet. No jokes about blackbirds, please. This is not the first time she has come under fire for making unguarded racial remarks. There was an incident in 1996 when she commented on blonde Finish nurses, but let's not get carried away here, that sort of banter is a light year away from a knife through the heart, which is what Stephen Lawrence got. Instead of all this prattle about crimes that never happened and MPs' tweets, there are more important matters on the agenda, like another young black man who was killed in the street, although admittedly unlike Stephen Lawrence he was no aspiring architect.
It took 18 years to bring to book the Lawrence killers. Maybe. How long will it take to solve the Mark Duggan case, and why isn't anybody talking about it anymore?
As documented previously, most of the criticisms levelled against the police in the Stephen Lawrence investigation are totally without merit. Anyone who thinks identifying the perpetrator(s) of a sudden, traumatic incident should be a doddle is not familiar with either the issues involved or the plethora of mistaken identity cases that have been catastrophic for the innocent parties on the receiving end. Think not? Check out the case of Thomas Haynesworth and you'll probably think again.
Although the murder of Stephen Lawrence was witnessed by many people on a clear night, there was still massive potential for misidentification of any or all the suspects, and even the convictions of Gary Dobson and David Norris are anything but satisfactory.
Having said that, the death of Mark Duggan is a very different matter. We know the identities of all the people involved, or at least the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission does. Initial reports were that armed officers had surrounded a car and there had been an exchange of fire. Then we were told that Mark Duggan had been armed but had not actually fired at them. Then it was, well, no, he wasn't actually armed at all.
On December 12, the IPCC released a summary of events and non-events so far in this inquiry; the investigation - which apparently will not be completed until April - involves a computerised reconstruction of events. That is according to the police witnesses. Does anyone notice something odd here? What would have happened if Mark Duggan had been shot dead by a civilian?
The very first thing that would have happened is that the participants would have been arrested. All of them. Everyone involved would have been detained in some way, then they would have been separated and questioned, where appropriate, under caution.
Has anything like that happened here? Of course not. Everyone involved has had time to confer with everyone else, to generate a narrative that gets everybody off the hook, although it appears they couldn't do that with any degree of plausibility.
It would of course be wrong to speculate unduly as to what actually happened, but as neither the man who fired the fatal shot nor any other police officer is currently facing criminal charges, there is no contempt of court in simply stating they got it wrong. They had inaccurate intelligence, they went after the wrong man, and one of them got trigger happy.
So what will happen now? What will most definitely not happen is a conviction for murder or for manslaughter. There may well be a trial, but if the police can get away with shooting a naked man in his own bedroom (James Ashley), or a man carrying a coffee table leg in a bag (Harry Stanley), a gangsta in the back of a minicab is a pushover.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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