Rioting in London Over Police Shooting
A peaceful protest against the killing of a 29-year-old man in Tottenham degenerated into a Saturday night rampage, with rioters torching a double-decker bus, destroying patrol cars and trashing a shopping mall.
The protest against the death of Mark Duggan, a father of four who was gunned down by police in disputed circumstances Thursday, was initially peaceful. But it got ugly as hundreds of people gathered around Tottenham’s police station.
Some protesters filled bottles with gasoline to throw at police lines, others confronted officers with makeshift weapons – including baseball bats and bars – and attempted to storm the station.
Several buildings were set ablaze. TV footage showed the double-decker bus in a fireball and mounted police charging through the streets trying to restore order.
Police said 26 officers received injuries, most if not all apparently minor, and made 55 arrests, including four Sunday. The majority of arrests were for burglary; other offenses included violent disorder, robbery, theft and handling of stolen goods.
The violence has cast a pall over London’s preparations to host the 2012 Olympic Games. London Mayor Boris Johnson is trying to assure the world that his city was safe, but other officials aren’t so sure. They say the violence does not bode well for London, or the Olympics.