As authorities struggle to douse the burning Tottenham structures and contain the riot, doubts are being raised about the circumstances that lead to the death of 29-year-old Mark Duggan -- father of four and a known offender from London's notorious Broadwater Farm Estate, which fueled a violent protest.
A community organizer has suggested that the handgun which allegedly belonged to Duggan was inside a sock and was not ready for use. According to police, Duggan died during an "exchange of fire."
Initial ballistics tests also suggest that the bullet allegedly fired by Duggan, lodged in a police radio worn by an officer during Thursday's incident, was not from the handgun, according to a report by The Guardian. This evidence points to the fact that police were not facing a fire threat when they shot Duggan, who had been travelling in a minicab.
The police version of the incident said that the officers stopped the cab to carry out an arrest as part of a planned operation, but were forced to shoot Duggan as he started firing.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has launched an inquiry into the incident, even though a statement released to the press said that the conspiracy theory over Duggan's killing isn't true. "Speculation that Mark Duggan was 'assassinated' in an execution style involving a number of shots to the head are categorically untrue," it stated.
The IPCC is awaiting "further forensic analysis to enable us to have a fuller and more comprehensive account of what shots were discharged, the sequence of events and what exactly happened," said its latest press release. "In the meantime, we would request people are patient while we seek to find answers to the questions raised by this incident."
Community leaders had warned the Tottenham police that the peaceful protest over the death of Duggan could turn violent. Stafford Scott, a community organizer said that police refused to talk to about 100 community leaders who had waited to meet senior officers, before the violence began.
"It is unforgivable police refused dialogue. We know the history here -- how can Tottenham have a guy killed by police on Thursday, and resist requests for dialogue from the community 48 hours later?" Scott said.
Duggan's fiancee, Semone Wilson, 29, said the family was averse to any trouble. "When we were outside the police station last night we wanted someone to come out. We want some answers. I have not even told my children that he is dead because we cannot give them any answers," she said.