Britain PM appeals for calm after police killing verdict

LONDON (AFP) - Prime Minister David Cameron appealed Thursday for a calm response after an inquest found that a man was lawfully killed by police in an incident that sparked Britain's worst unrest for decades.

Mr Cameron said he hoped people would respect the "proper" judicial process in the case of Mr Mark Duggan and welcomed the stance taken by the dead man's aunt Carole, who said she wanted "no more violence".

Relatives of the 29-year-old alleged gangster plan to hold a vigil in Tottenham, north London, at the weekend and there are concerns that the event could spark unrest.

Two days after the father-of-six was killed, deadly rioting broke out across cities nationwide.

The commissioner of London's Metropolitan police, Bernard Hogan-Howe, met with community leaders to discuss Wednesday's verdict after a jury found that Mr Duggan's shooting was lawful even though he did not have a gun in his hand at the time.

Mr Hogan-Howe has welcomed the inquest jury's decision but acknowledged the shooting had led to a "significant reduction in trust between London's black communities" and police.

Speaking after meeting Britain's most senior police officer, the Reverend Nims Obunge, who conducted Mr Duggan's burial service, said: "We had an interesting meeting with the commissioner and he has clearly expressed concern about what would happen in Tottenham. "The message from the family is that this vigil is intended to be a very peaceful vigil. We expect that anybody who would come would stand with the family."

He said Mr Duggan's children would be present "and we don't expect anybody to come to where Mark Duggan's children are to create unrest or anarchy".

The family responded furiously to the verdict, with Mr Duggan's brother screaming obscenities at jurors as they left court and other supporters shouting "murderers".

In highly-charged scenes outside the Royal Courts of Justice, Duggan's aunt, Carole, said he had been "executed", but on Thursday she called for calm.

"This has got to be dealt with the right way, through the courts," she told BBC radio, saying the family wanted to see "no more demonstrations, no more violence". "We will have to fight this, go through the struggle peacefully, through the right channels, to get justice".

The inquest jury found by a majority verdict that it was most likely that Duggan had a gun but threw it on to a nearby grass verge after police vehicles forced the taxi in which he was travelling to stop. The coroner in the inquest accepted that the jury was faced with a "stark problem" because police officers' notes contradicted video evidence from the scene about the location of the gun.

Mr Hogan-Howe said that armed police in London will in future wear video cameras to ensure a more accurate record is made of their actions.

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