Massive riots gripped London late Saturday, leading to the injury of 26 officers and 42 arrests.Vehicles and buildings were set on fire, and the metropolitan police faced “extreme violence” in Tottenham, an area to the north of the city, Bloomberg reports. Rioters threw petrol bombs at police and buildings, the BBC reports, and there were 49 fires in the area, including a bus and two police vehicles. Buildings and cars were in some cases fully gutted by the fire, and left smoldering shells. Local business were looted by adults and teenagers until police took control of the area around 1am, according to Guardian.
This is how it began: A 29-year-old black man named Mark Duggan was killed on Thursday after police stopped the taxi that he was traveling in. It's unclear how or why he died during this stop, and the incident is under investigation. By all accounts it was a "regrettable" death. Apparently a police officer was also shot during the incident, but only had minor injuries after the bullet reportedly lodged in the radio, according to Guardian.
A peaceful protest over Duggan was taking place, with over 300 people, when, in the words of a Metropolitan Police Commander Adrian Hanstock, it was "hijacked by a small number of criminal elements, who used that for their own gain." He went on to call the riots "unacceptable," as did Prime Minister David Cameron. However, the BBC reports that "unconfirmed reports say the incident was sparked off by a confrontation between a teenage protester and a police officer."