England latest news. London riots spread accross England: Liverpool, Birmingham, Bristol and Nottingham!
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Riots on London streets – police tried to restore order in northern London – Tottenham after rioters torching police cars and looted stores following a protest over the deadly shooting of a man by officers.
Riots began at about 5PM local time Saturday after more than 120 people marched from Broadwater Farm to Tottenham police station to demand “justice” over the deadly shooting of a young black man by police.
Mark Duggan – the shot man- was a 29-year-old father of four. Mark Duggan died on Thursday in a shootout with Tottenham police officers.
The march, which seemed to begin peacefully, turned violent immediately after dark when two empty police cars parked about 200 meters from the police station were set upon.
Vanessa Robinson, who had taken part in the original march, told the BBC that:
“The rally had started peacefully and descended into absolute chaos”.
The police cars were torched and hundreds of people ran amok outside the police station and also set fire to a double-decker bus and several buildings and shops, including a supermarket. Rioters kicked in windows on the area’s main street as shops were looted, with people seen carting away shopping trolleys full of stolen goods including television sets and clothes.
Tottenham Riots August 6/7th 2011
The violence spread to surrounding residential streets, where vans were also torched.
Some of residents fled their homes, according to the Sky News.
Rioters were armed with metal bars, petrol bombs and baseball bats and numbering at least 300.
8 police officers have been taken to hospital and one of them suffered a head injury.
Media crews had been forced to withdraw from the area after being targeted by rioters.
A London’s Metropolitan Police spokesman said:
“A number of bottles were thrown at these two cars — one was set alight and the second was pushed into the middle of the High Road. It was subsequently set alight”.
“The officers were not in the vehicles and were unhurt.”
Nikki, 53, a Mark Duggan family friend, said Duggan’s friends and relatives had organised the protest because “something (had) to be done” and the marchers wanted “justice for the family”.
Many of those rioters lay down on the road to make their point, she said, adding that while Mark Duggan was “involved in things“, he was not a violent man.
There were some reports telling the unrest was further stoked by posts on social and media networks such as Twitter urging other people to join in.
“It’s an absolute war zone. I walked up there,” said an eyewitness, who only named him as Tim.
“I saw about five youths, all faces covered up. They set a wheelie (trash) bin on fire and threw it into the riot police.”
An unnamed rioter reportedly told Channel Four News:
“This is just the beginning, this is war, and this is what you get — fire.”
David Akinsanya, local resident, 46 year-old, said:
“It’s really bad,”
“I’m feeling unsafe. I saw a guy getting attacked.”
The scene that greeted locals on Sunday morning was like something from a war zone.
One person, who managed to escape before his apartment was burned down, told Sky News that some of his neighbours had managed to get out with only the clothes on their back.
Man said the scene that greeted locals on Sunday morning was like something from a war zone.
“It’s like looking at a scene from somewhere like Syria,” he said.
“It’s surreal. I mean, this is London. This is Tottenham. This is where we live. It’s like something from the Second World War.”
“I don’t know how this happened. I don’t know how this was allowed to happen.”
“This has just ruined so many people’s lives. People have lost everything,” he said.
Sunday morning, police said the situation had calmed on the High Road but officers were still responding to the troubles flaring up elsewhere in the area.
There were also unconfirmed reports that the unrest had spread to nearby Wood Green.
Firefighters were still putting out several small blazes on Sunday morning.
London Police were unable yet to give a count of the buildings and vehicles torched, and the number of arrests was still unknown.
19 people, besides the number of police officers affectted, were believed to have been hurt in the riots.
Stephen Watson, Metropolitan Police Commander said:
“These are very distressing scenes for Londoners,”
“It’s important we emphasize that the safety of the public is of paramount importance to us … Our absolute aim is to restore normality.”
As a reaction to the violent acts, the Metropolitan Police opened the Gold Command Control centre, which is normally used only for major events and incidents, like the royal wedding in April and last December’s student protests.
London Mayor Boris Johnson’s spokeman said Duggan’s shooting was the subject of an inquiry by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
The IPCC has appealed for any witnesses to Duggan’s death to come. The IPCC, which investigates all police shootings, said that specialist firearms officers (on a regular basis, the British police officers do not carry guns) stopped a minicab Thursday to carry out a pre-planned arrest.
They IPCC officers were accompanied by other officers from Trident, which is the unit focused on tackling gun crime in the black community.
The IPCC said:
“Shots were fired and a 29-year-old man, who was a passenger in the cab, died at the scene,”.
“It is believed that two shots were fired by a firearms officer, equipped with a Heckler and Koch MP5 carbine. A non-police issue handgun was recovered at the scene.”
“An officer’s radio which appears to have a bullet lodged in it has also been recovered. Both the radio and the handgun are being sent for expedited forensic tests.”
The Broadwater Farm area is widely known as being the site of a notorious riot in 1985 that followed the death of an African-Caribbean woman who suffered heart failure during a police search of her home. Police Constable Keith Blakelock was brutally stabbed and beaten to death in the ensuing unrest.