As you may be aware, the last two days have seen serious bouts of rioting occur in various parts of London. The instigation for the rioting was the shooting to death of a certain Mark Duggan, whose questionable acquaintances in life, and alleged behavior towards the police before being shot, certainly make him seem a less than entirely sympathetic victim. Even if Mark Duggan were the angelic figure that circumstances indicate he was far from being, it is also impossible to accept that the appropriate response to even the most unjustifiable shooting is to engage in large-scale looting, arson, stone-throwing and other acts of mayhem under the guise of expressing one's anger at the police.
The riots of the last two days cannot and should not be excused, and those who participated in them should be held accountable for their actions, but here's the thing: despite the utter wrong-headedness of the rioters' deeds, and the dubious character of the individual in whose name they've gone about their lawlessness, there is in fact a germ of justification for their hostility towards the London Metropolitan Police, a justification which goes well beyond the death in an alleged firefight - and here I stress the word "alleged" - of one man with shady friends. The fact is that the London Metropolitan Police has a history of biased and heavy-handed policing which presumes guilt if you happen to be the wrong skin color, regardless of however much the evidence might be in your favor.