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Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Rioter profile: 'I'm a bit of a troublemaker'

A man from Tottenham who was arrested and was involved in looting and throwing missiles at police:

"People were making jokes, like about not to burn down McDonald's because they need their burger, and they said there's a madness on Tottenham High Road with police and people and everyone was there … and so because everybody was there, most of my friends was there, so most people went there to see what was going on.

"[I] just got involved while everyone, because a black teenager was walking and then she turned to walk past the police and they licked [hit] her in her leg, and then that's when everybody got angry, mostly … and then everyone started throwing stuff, bricks and wood, throwing it, anything on the floor they would throw till it escalated.

"A big crowd, but … a lot of people that, you know, that I knew. Well, at the beginning it was calm. Everyone was just watching, just watching the police lined up, and by the time I got there, there was two police cars on fire, or there was one police car on fire, in the middle … and people was just watching it, and riot police wasn't there at the time, just normal police lined up at the police station by the time I got there.

"I'm a bit of a troublemaker. I just knew something was going to happen and then when it did happen I just got involved from there. They [the police] hit, well, a teenager … Then people started throwing stuff, from there. "They broke into a shop and got glass bottles, an off-licence and got all the glass bottles, laid it down, gave it out and started throwing it from there and then riot police came from there. I was in the shop myself, getting glass bottles as well, throwing it from there.

"They [the police] mostly aggravate teenagers these days, and they'll stop you for no reason, and they'll rough you up [laughs], just rough you up for no particular reason. People were screaming out: 'This is for Mark [Duggan].' They were shouting it out.

"I knew a lot of people that was there but … not a lot, like 10 people, just mostly attacking the police. But you saw everybody beside you, behind you, everywhere that you knew mostly. Everyone was involved; it wasn't just black.

"They pushed all the way back till Tottenham stadium, all the way from there, but it calmed down from Tottenham stadium, it mostly got aggravated near McDonald's when they pushed up on McDonald's, and that bus: someone put the bus on fire.

"You can't really say 'proud of it', but putting people's shops on fire, that didn't have nothing to do [with it]. Yeah, that wasn't right, to tell you the truth. We did the shops, but not really shops like JD to loot stuff and take different garments, just most people that was rioting to get weapons.

"BBM [BlackBerry Messenger Service], they made it out, that it was really fully involved; it wasn't really involved. People didn't really – like there was little pieces about who's going to this area to loot that shop, 'I'll come,' you got that, but it wasn't really about rioting, mostly about looting.

"I feel kinda stupid because a lot of people said they saw me on the news … Because I didn't know the risk of getting caught was actually that high. Stupid really … to get myself in that situation and getting caught."

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