The violence of the past three nights was sparked by the police killing of suspected gangster Mark Duggan last Thursday in the back of a taxi in the racially mixed area of Tottenham, north London. His family disputes police accounts that he shot at officers. This morning, an inquest heard that he died from a single gunshot wound to the chest, but a police investigation into the shooting is not expected to report back for a number of months.
Since the first night of rioting in Tottenham on Saturday, the burning and looting has spread to cities such as Birmingham, Bristol, Nottingham, Liverpool, Oxford, and Reading. A young man who was shot in Croydon, south of London, died, becoming the first fatality of the riots.
It's also spreading through several London neighborhoods. But, arguably, it was unexpected violence in the predominantly white, middle class Clapham Junction that has worried a wider number of Londoners.
“I just didn’t expect trouble here and it was really frightening," says Erin Allen, originally from Los Angeles. “I’m not sure why the police are not dealing with them and letting these youths take things from shops. Back in L.A., the police would be a lot stronger.”