Forensic Architecture Appeal

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The police killed Mark Duggan in 1.5 seconds

But it took thousands of hours of pioneering research to understand that crucial moment.

A placard saying 'Justice for Mark Duggan' at a protest

Forensic Architecture helped Mark Duggan’s family to uncover the truth

When Mark Duggan was killed by police on Ferry Lane, Tottenham, on 4 August 2011 – an event that triggered the largest riots in modern English history – his family turned to Goldsmiths’ ground-breaking human rights agency, Forensic Architecture, to find out what really happened.

Was Mark Duggan holding a gun? Could he have thrown it?

The officer who fired the two fatal shots claimed he saw Duggan holding a gun. An inquest jury in 2014 found the shooting to be lawful. But for Forensic Architecture, the story didn’t add up.

They investigated: was Mark Duggan actually holding a gun when he was shot by police? Could he have possibly thrown the gun seven meters away, as the police narrative claimed?

A year of forensic analysis to understand just 1.5 seconds

Goldsmiths’ interdisciplinary team of investigators used witness testimonies, ballistic and pathology reports, video footage, 3D-mapping, motion capture, timelines and biomechanical evidence to piece together the events.

Forensic Architecture’s comprehensive research showed that it was highly improbable that Mark Duggan was throwing the gun, as the police had said. They revealed that there is compelling evidence not to dismiss the possibility of the police having moved the weapon.

Forensic Architecture helped Mark Duggan’s family reach a settlement with the Met police

As a result of their investigation, the Metropolitan police came to a settlement with Duggan’s family and the police watchdog are reviewing their findings, offering a small hope that Mark’s family will finally see a measure of justice.

Forensic Architecture's render placing the camera at armed officer V53's location.

This shows the required throw of the gun Mark Duggan was accused of holding, which Forensic Architecture showed was highly improbable.

© Forensic Architecture 2022

You can support research that fights for justice

Forensic Architecture are currently conducting fast-response investigations in Ukraine and working with local researchers to pursue accountability for war crimes committed during the Russian invasion.

Your support can help Forensic Architecture to start new investigations and continue to innovate new ways to expose human rights abuses, police brutality, state torture and war crimes often when no one else can.

You can offer all students the chance to study and thrive at Goldsmiths

Your support can help offer bursaries and awards which enable bright students from diverse backgrounds to fulfil their potential and go on to make their own impact on the world.

Please donate to support Forensic Architecture’s research and students in need at Goldsmiths to help to create a fairer and more just world.

In supporting our work, you can give us more time, more space to think. That means taking on more cases, and using that casework to develop cutting-edge investigative techniques, which could be taken up by organisations around the world, in journalism, human rights, activism, law and the arts. That’s how Forensic Architecture can continue to empower civil society to respond to rights violations.

Bob Trafford, Research Coordinator at Forensic Architecture

Watch the video to see how Forensic Architecture used their unique methodology to uncover the truth of Mark Duggan’s killing.