It's a story too familiar to Americans. A questionable police shooting triggers outrage that escalates into violence. This time the scenario is playing out in London's Tottenham district. So far a bus, two police cars and several stores have been burned. Police have made 55 arrests, 26 police officers have been injured and firefighters have responded to 46 primary fires. The man who died, Mark Duggan, 29, was a father of four. In addition to Tottenham, in North London, the violence also spread to Enfield.
Here is a report from the Guardian on the events in North London.
On Saturday night, rioters broke through police ranks and attempted to storm Tottenham's police station, pelting officers with bricks, bottles and eggs. As a police helicopter flew over Tottenham High Road, youths in masks and hoods added combustible material to two burned out police cars, included a bundle of documents and an awning ripped down from one of the shops. Some attempted to persuade the rioters to disperse, one young man shouting: "Go home now people."
But others filled bottles with petrol to throw at the police lines. Many lined up with makeshift weapons including metal bars and baseball bats to confront the line of police, but others seemed more interested in looting. At one stage a safe was dragged out of a bookmakers, while others were seen with a television set and an electric guitar. Several arrived with shopping trollies to take away what they had stolen.
"It wasn't like this before," said one woman standing close to one of the two burned-out police cars. "It started out as a peaceful demonstration. The police shot a guy here last week and they lied about what happened. They said he pulled a gun but he wouldn't have done that with armed police. They shot him so badly that his mother could not recognise him."
We can only hope that our British neighbors are wise enough to resolve this quickly and justly.
Read the rest of the article at the Guardian.
Here is a recap of the history of urban unrest in the U.K.