Good for them. Those on this side of the pond need to take lessons.
London (CNN) — Rioters took advantage of a vigil for a man killed by police and turned violent Saturday night, tossing petrol bombs and “missiles” at officers and looting stores, London’s Metropolitan Police said Sunday.
“The behavior by a criminal minority put police officers, fire brigade personnel and the public at significant risk,” Cmdr. Adrian Hanstock said in a statement.
At least 42 people were arrested and 26 officers were injured, police said.
The violence came amid protests over the killing of Mark Duggan, who was riding in a cab when he was killed Thursday. Police stopped the cab in an attempted arrest, and soon shots were fired, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.
The commission did not say who shot the 29-year-old, nor why the cab was stopped.
“The death of Mr. Duggan is extremely regrettable,” Hanstock said. “It is absolutely tragic that someone has died, but that does not give a criminal minority the right to destroy businesses” and “steal from their local community.”
Demonstrators Saturday night burned police cars, a bus and buildings to protest Duggan’s death. They pelted officers with bottles and bricks as police in riot gear charged at the crowd and blocked off streets.
A double-decker bus and some buildings were also set ablaze, sending bright orange flames shooting into the night sky.
“The rioting in Tottenham last night was utterly unacceptable,” Downing Street Sunday. “There is no justification for the aggression the police and the public faced, or for the damage to property.”
The protests started peacefully Saturday night when about 30 friends and relatives of the victim gathered outside Tottenham police station to protest the fatal shooting.
Hanstock said “there was no indication that the protest would deteriorate into the levels of criminal and violent disorder that we saw. We believe that certain elements, who were not involved with the vigil, took the opportunity to commit disorder and physically attack police officers, verbally abuse fire brigade personnel and destroy vehicles and buildings.”
Police have “recovered excellent” surveillance video of the incident, and “those who committed disorder and criminal acts will be identified” and held accountable, he said.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission has appealed to witnesses to come forward.
“We already have one grieving family in our community and further violence will not heal that pain,” said David Lammy, member of parliament for Tottenham.
“The Tottenham community and Mark Duggan’s family and friends need to understand what happened on Thursday evening when Mark lost his life,” he said. “To understand those facts, we must have calm.”
Still, pockets of unrest lingered early Sunday in the Tottenham area, police said.
“These are very distressing scenes for Londoners in general and the local community in particular,” said Cmdr. Stephen Watson. “For those who involved themselves in this level of violence, there is no excuse.”
A British police watchdog group announced plans to meet Sunday with Duggan’s family.
CNN’s Aliza Kassim contributed to this report.