black holes and gray matter. in one thousand tangos.

London Riots: IPCC Admits it May Have Misled Media Over Shooting of Mark Duggan

From the Guardian:

"Analysis of media coverage and queries raised on Twitter have alerted to us to the possibility that we may have inadvertently given misleading information to journalists when responding to very early media queries following the shooting of Mark Duggan by MPS officers on the evening of 4th August.

The IPCC’s first statement, issued at 22:49 on 4th August, makes no reference to shots fired at police and our subsequent statements have set out the sequence of events based on the emerging evidence. However, having reviewed the information the IPCC received and gave out during the very early hours of the unfolding incident, before any documentation had been received, it seems possible that we may have verbally led journalists to believe that shots were exchanged as this was consistent with early information we received that an officer had been shot and taken to hospital.

Any reference to an exchange of shots was not correct and did not feature in any of our formal statements, although an officer was taken to hospital after the incident.”

This is significant, as much of the early media coverage referred to an “exchange of shots”, with some media outlets clearly implying that police had been shot at first. This issue is one of the key grievances of the Duggan family.

“The comments, in newspapers and online, which chime with me are the ones professing sadness, confusion and a willingness to wait for more information before jumping to conclusions, the latter being particularly welcome. Some commentators leapt to equal and opposite forms of idiocy. Conservative pundits spoke mechanically of “mindless” violence (it’s never mindless, it just means you don’t consider the mind behind it) while some on the left bent over backwards to justify looting as an anti-consumerist act, failing to discriminate between anti-police violence and nicking trainers from Foot Locker, understandable outrage and plain old criminality, and thus doing rightwing pundits’ job for them. […]

What’s happening now isn’t a protest or, as Darcus Howe put it, an “insurrection” – it’s a nervous breakdown. The motor isn’t a political cause but a mood. Politics is in the background, in the pervasive frustration and anxiety of an alienated underclass: record levels of youth unemployment, widening inequality, social services (especially youth services) slashed to the bone, the Education Maintenance Allowance scrapped, a damaged relationship between the police and the community, and collapsing faith in a seemingly indifferent political class. But the immediate outcome makes the lives of residents – many of whom are every bit as deprived as the rioters – even worse than they were last week and opens the door to an authoritarian response. A riot is a weapon of last resort; a cry for help; a public form of self-harming. It pays for short-term catharsis with long-term pain.”
©2011 Kateoplis