The death of a man at the hands of the London Metropolitan Police this past Thursday has sparked violent riots in the area, with over 150 arrests made and over 30 police officers injured since Saturday.
According to CNN.com, officers from Operation Trident, a branch of the Metropolitan Police that specializes in quelling violence in London’s black communities, stopped a cab carrying 29-year-old father of four Mark Duggan on Thurday in an attempt to make an arrest when shots were fired. Duggan was fatally wounded by the gunfire.
Citizens of London responded with a series of violent riots, many of which experts believe were organized via social media outlets like Twitter and Blackberry’s private messaging service Blackberry Messenger.
Late Sunday night violent public brawls and riotous destruction broke out in Brixton, a town in south London. According to the Telegraph, police that responded to emergency calls “came under fire with a barrage of missiles,” thrown by rioting youths including bottles and stones.
The rioters attempted to trap police in a certain area but were apprehended by heavily armored officers in riot gear and police helicopters. Stores were also vandalized and looted during the riots.
Citizens of Brixton were forced to find alternative ways to get to work on Monday, as the Tube, London’s underground train system, was closed. Discarded stolen property was left in the streets by looters, who also burned a local Foot Locker next to the Tube station. According to the Independent, looters targeted stores such as Curry’s, which carries expensive electronics, and H&M, where looters allegedly tried on clothes before stealing them.
The violent riots came soon after a Tottenham protest turned dangerous this past Saturday night, with protesters lighting a double-decker bus on fire and destroying police patrol cars.
The riots have come at an extremely inopportune time for London, as the city is currently preparing for the 2012 Summer Olympics.