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Taxi driver tells inquest officers had come to 'hunt' Mark Duggan
A taxi driver said the officer who shot Mark Duggan was in a state of “extreme rage” and seemed like he had “lost his senses”.
At an inquest examining the death of the 29-year-old in August, 2011, the man, known as ‘taxi driver’ to protect his identity, said officers seemed like they had come “to hunt someone”.
The witness was driving the minicab that Mr Duggan was travelling in when he was killed in Ferry Lane, Tottenham, sparking riots in London and looting across England.
Today, the taxi driver told the jury at the Royal Courts of Justice that Mr Duggan was shot in the back as he tried to run away from the police officers.
Speaking through an interpreter, he told the court an officer from the vehicle in front of him came out of the car and opened fire on the 29-year-old as he ran away.
Officers claimed they opened fire in self-defence as Mr Duggan was carrying a gun and was intending to use it.
He said Mr Duggan could not have taken more than two or three steps from the vehicle before he was shot.
Adam Straw, who represents the family of Mr Duggan, asked Mr Taxi Driver to describe the state of the officer who he believed killed Mr Duggan.
He said: “He was in an extreme rage, like a mad person. He was angry, crazy or mad.
“He was like someone who had lost their sense.”
The family and loved ones of Mr Duggan cheered when he added: “To me it looked like these people had come to hunt someone rather than stop him.”
The taxi driver went on to describe how, after Mr Duggan was shot, he was dragged from the car, handcuffed and made to lay face-down on the ground.
Police officers then shouted at the taxi driver to not look at Mr Duggan. He told the inquest that an armed officer said that if he looked at in the direction of Mr Duggan he would be shot.
When the driver looked at Mr Duggan a second time he was moved and made to face the other way with his back toward the 29-year-old's body.
He said he did not know why the police officers did not want him to look at Mr Duggan but said it could have been because they did not what him to see what they were doing.
The taxi driver told the jury that he felt the police had a harsh and callous attitude to the situation and no consideration was given to his safety or the safety of the people in the area.
He seemed very distressed while giving evidence this afternoon and said that witnessing the shooting had a "very bad effect" on him.
He said: “I saw a person alive in my car then I saw him in that position and I have had quite a few sleepless nights because of that.”
Earlier in the day the taxi driver said he did not realise the men with the guns were police and said he did not hear them shout the word “police”.
Police officers claim that Mark Duggan was shot from the front as he ran towards officers but the taxi driver repeatedly said that he saw a police officer shoot the 29-year-old in the back.
He added that he did not see what Mr Duggan was doing with his hands and that he did not see the 29-year-old make any sudden movements when he left the car.
Asked by Leslie Thomas, who represents Mr Duggan’s loved ones, whether the only thing he had seen Mark Duggan doing was making a run for it, he answered yes.
The inquest continues.