That Mark Duggan photo? There’s more to it than meets the eye…

You’ve probably seen this picture of Mark Duggan, the young man shot by police in London last year, in the media over the past few months.


When featured alongside clearly negative (and misleading) articles – the intention is arguably to present him as an angry, intimidating gangster-figure.

But here’s the full picture:

Duggan 2

As you can see, there’s a lot more to it than meets the eye. Almost every media source crops out the key reason he looks not-entirely-happy in the photograph – he was at the grave site of his infant daughter. The only major media outlet that has used the full picture from my cursory search online was one in Ireland, The Journal.

Now, obviously news outlets always crop pictures to a certain extent, but to exclude absolutely everything from the image except his face – leaving him with only an out-of-context and seemingly menacing appearance – is manipulative and arguably bad journalism. Sections of the media – obviously primarily that of the right – have been keen to demonise Duggan since his killing, and this is just one small way of doing that.

I’ve taken this from a post shared on Facebook around a thousand times yesterday – a post that has for some reason now disappeared (correct me if I’m wrong/if it comes back):

This is the FULL VERSION of a picture used by the media to vilify #MarkDuggan. In this picture he is in a GRAVE-YARD, visiting the graveside of his infant daughter who had just died prematurely. If you look closely you will see he’s holding a granite-memorial stone in her memory.

Q: Is he supposed to be smiling in this picture?

I can’t imagine what it’s like to loose a child but i’m sure i wouldn’t be smiling about it. None the less the media seized upon this image, cropped & edited it to suit there agendas and yet never mentioned the context in which this photo was taken. Instead they used the grimaced look on his face to convict him in the public eye via a trail by media.

Empathy and the location alone tells me, this is the face of a man in mourning, nothing else. To infer anything else from this image would be mere conjecture.

Please share.


  1. While I am in no way a Daily Mail apologist the watermark on that picture tells me it appeared on the Mail Online. That contradicts your assertion it “only appeared” in full on an Irish media outlet.

    I say this without an agenda (and accept subsequent Mail coverage probably fits your description) but merely pointing it out in the interests of balance/fairness.

  2. Good call. As a black person, this is nothing new .. we see it most days in regular news coverage. A white person may find these things hard to relate to but they do happen regularly, and the media is anything but filled with integrity and fairness towards black people.

    Yes, I can also confirm that the facebook post you linked above has indeed been deleted.

  3. Where were the male role models for this young man when he was out and about armed with a pistol committing crime? They should have also been called to the inquest to give evidence as to why they let him down instead of blaming others (the police) for this terrible incident. They should have stopped giving media interviews and instead manned up and given sworn evidence at the inquest. Of course, they could then have been cross examined by counsel assisting and details of their own lives may have been exposed. On second thoughts, probably better to avoid sworn testimony and blab uncorroborated tales to a willing tabloid media.

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