London Riots Cause Chaos, Death in the Streets

by on February 19th, 2014
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Four days of rioting and looting have rocked London and surrounding towns. The violence initially started as a protest to the shooting of a black man by police, and has evolved into mayhem with no clear purpose or end in sight. Unemployment, austerity measures, and race relations have all been blamed for the violence, and there doesn’t seem to be a clear solution on how to stave off the looting and pillaging.

* On Aug. 4, 29-year-old Mark Duggan was fatally shot by officers from Scotland Yard. Duggan was a suspected gang member. Initial reports indicated the man was shot during an exchange of fire between him and the officers, though it now appears that he was not holding a gun at all, according to ABC World News.

* A peace vigil in Tottenham erupted into the first of many riots to break out throughout the London area. Other affected areas include Manchester, Hackney, Peckham, Birmingham, Enfield, and Croydon, reports Daily Mail.

* British youths looted stores, stealing liquor, electronics, and other items. Buildings and cars have been set on fire by rioters as well.

* More than 750 people have been arrested so far, according to the Huffington Post, with 160 people charged for crimes related to the riots.

* Looters appear to have used BlackBerry Messenger to organize further criminal activities in the affected areas. Many in London have called for the service to be shut down until law and order can be restored.

* Prime Minister David Cameron cut his family vacation in Tuscany short to deal with the increasing anarchy in the streets of London. He recalled Parliament to aid in finding a solution to the problem, and pledged that the government “will do everything necessary to restore order to Britain’s streets and to make them safe for the law-abiding,” according to The Canadian Press.

* Rioters have blamed the economy and lack of jobs for the unrest. Austerity measures, which will take effect soon, have also been blamed as part of the root cause for the criminal activity. Unemployed youths will soon see their government-sponsored benefits begin to dwindle.

* In one incident, looters broke into a local McDonald’s and cooked their own food in the restaurant.

* Sales of baseball bats and nightsticks have skyrocketed since the London riots began. Amazon U.K. reported a 7,000 percent spike in sales for nightsticks alone.

* Many in the international community have voiced concern about the upcoming Olympic Games in London. Riots in Hackney came dangerously close to the venue where the opening ceremonies are to be held. So far, scheduled test events for the games are still slated to take place.

* An exhibition soccer match between England and the Netherlands scheduled to take place at Wembley Stadium has been called off due to safety concerns, reports The Associated Press. The game was expected to attract 80,000 people. Officials determined they could not assure the safety of visitors given the instability in London.

* The first person killed in the London riots was a 26-year-old man who was fatally shot while in his car after being involved with an altercation with nine men. Two have men been arrested for the shooting.

* Police presence in London was increased to 16,000 officers to prevent further riots on the fourth night since the violence started. 6,000 police officers were on the streets for the third night of violence.

* Three men were killed in Birmingham during the fourth night of rioting. The men were killed while protecting their neighborhood from rioters. They were run down by a speeding car.

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