2011 London riots

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The 2011 London riots, also known as the 2011 England riots and the London riots, were a series of riots that occurred in England in August 2011 following the police shooting of Mark Duggan, a Black man who the police wrongly believed to be about to fire on them. They are considered to be some of the worst riots in England since the Gordon Riots of 1780.


On 4th August 2011, London police officers stopped Mark Duggan's vehicle as part of Operation Trident, a police initiative to tackle gun crime in Black communities in London. As the officers attempted to detain Duggan, one of them shot him dead. The IPCC investigation into the shooting initially concluded that Duggan, who was carrying a handgun, a forbidden item in England, had fired at the officers due to a hollow-point bullet found embedded in a police officer's radio, however this was later revealed to have been the bullet used to kill Duggan, which had penetrated his body and hit the radio. However, the IPCC declined to charge anyone with the killing, despite advice from community leaders that failure to do so could result in riots similar to the Broadwater Farm riot of 1985 due to feeling in Duggan's community.

Shortly after the IPCC's failure to press charges, on 6th August an initially peaceful protest march was held from Broadwater Farm to Tottenham police station to demand justice for Duggan. However, the marchers became aggressive towards officers sent out to meet with them, with several people shouting racial slurs at them. Reports later emerged that a 16-year-old had been injured after assaulting police officers with a champagne bottle, further inflaming tensions.


Following the march, a gang of youths burned down Tottenham's post office, and several attacks on police cars took place. Several members of the Hate Group the English Defence League took part in the rioting after their leader Tommy Robinson mobilised them to "protect British citizens", resulting in an attack on a double decker bus carrying Muslim students. Many shops were vandalised and looted by the rioters, and petrol bombs were thrown at responding police officers. Several news vans were also attacked, and a Mail on Sunday photographer was beaten and mugged. The rioting in Tottenham was accompanied by the looting of Tottenham Hale retail park, which continued until the police managed to quell the riot.

On the 7th of August, riot police were deployed to Wood Green to deal with around 100 youths who had begun looting shops, and many clashes ensued. That afternoon, more riot police were deployed to Enfield to keep order after reports of gangs of hooded youths arriving in cars, buses and trains came to the police. They managed to keep order until 5:30 pm, when a police car was pelted with bricks. Violence ensued, and several shops were looted until the rioters were subdued and Enfield was cordoned off. That same day, rioters set a Foot Locker shop in Brixton on fire, and many nearby shops were looted. Looting was also reported in Dalston, Leyton, Shepherd's Bush and Streatham, a gangland fight broke out in Denmark Hill, a police vehicle was attacked in Islington, skirmishes with police occurred in Oxford Circus, and gangs of youths looted and burned down buildings in Woolwich.

On 8th August, electronics shops in Croydon were heavily looted, and rioters threw bottles and stones at police as they attempted to cordon the area off. Several buildings were burned down, and a news reporter was attacked. During the rioting in Croydon, 26-year-old Trevor Ellis was shot dead during an argument with fellow looters over stolen goods.

At around 5pm, a group of 200 people attacked police cars in Ealing, and set a supermarket on fire with petrol bombs. They also looted several shops, and vandalised and burned cars. A 68-year-old man was badly beaten and robbed while attempting to reason with rioters, and died of his injuries three days later. Rioting was reported across London, and elsewhere in the country. There were also several other fatalities, including Richard Mannington Bowes, who was beaten into a coma by rioter Darrell Desuze while trying to extinguish an arson fire.