London Riot Spawns Copycat Disturbances

A riot that broke out Saturday night into Sunday morning, spread to other parts of the town the following night in London’s northern burrough of Tottenham. The disturbances, the worst in London since the 1981 riots in Brixton, south London, were apparently sparked by the death of a 29-year-old man in Tottenham, in a police sting operation last week. About 160 people have been arrested in the 2 days of riots.

The mainly youthful rioters set alight buildings, buses and police cars, attacked officers with sticks, bricks and missiles and proceeded to ransack shops in a looting spree marked by a ‘shocking level of violence,’ police said. Clashes have also broken out in Enfield, north London, where shop windows have been smashed, and a police car damaged. Riot police were deployed to the area, and the Met Police said “several arrests” had been made after shops were vandalized.

The riots where stirred up over the death of Mark Duggan, an alleged drug criminal, who was being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Media reports said doubts had arisen over the initial police claim that he died in an exchange of fire. In a statement, Duggan’s family described as ‘utter rubbish’ the allegation that he had shot at the police, but also made clear that it did not ‘condone’ the riots and looting that followed.

Shops were attacked and looted, 26 police officers and three others hurt and buildings and vehicles were set ablaze. During the riot people threw petrol bombs, reducing many buildings and vehicles to charred wrecks. Clasford Stirling, a resident of Tottenham for 32 years, said the area looked like a battlefield.

By: John Lester
Published: Aug 8, 2021
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