Civil Rights

A story evolves

April 1, 2009, Statement from Metropolitan Police:

A member of the public went to a police officer on a cordon in Birchin Lane, junction with Cornhill to say that there was a man who had collapsed round the corner.

That officer sent two police medics through the cordon line and into St Michaels Alley where they found a man who had stopped breathing. . .

The officers gave him an initial check and cleared his airway before moving him back behind the cordon line to a clear area outside the Royal Exchange Building where they gave him CPR.

LAS took the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead. . .

April 7 2009, The Guardian:

The [initial police] statement made no mention of any prior police contact with Tomlinson. The following day, journalists were briefed by police that he was not a protester, had not been involved with police or been in a crush and had died of natural causes outside of the police cordon.

Independent witnesses subsequently challenged the account . . .

IPCC Commissioner for London, Deborah Glass, said: “Initially we had accounts from independent witnesses who were on Cornhill, who told us that there had been no contact between the police and Mr Tomlinson when he collapsed. However, other witnesses have since told us that he did have contact with officers. This would have been a few minutes before he collapsed. It is important that we are able to establish whether that contact had anything to do with his death.”

April 8 2009, The Guardian: (with video link)

Dramatic footage obtained by the Guardian shows that the man who died at last week’s G20 protests in London was attacked from behind and thrown to the ground by a baton–wielding police officer in riot gear.

Moments after the assault on Ian Tomlinson was captured on video, he suffered a heart attack and died.

The Guardian has handed a dossier of evidence to the police complaints watchdog.

. . .The film reveals that as he walks, with his hands in his pockets, he does not speak to the police or offer any resistance. A phalanx of officers, some with dogs and some in riot gear, are close behind him and try to urge him forward.

A Metropolitan police officer appears to strike him with a baton, hitting him from behind on his upper thigh. Moments later, the same policeman rushes forward and, using both hands, pushes Tomlinson in the back and sends him flying to the ground . . .

April 8 2009, The Guardian:

Brian Paddick, a former top Scotland Yard officer, today demanded that police should be removed from investigating the death of Ian Tomlinson at last week’s G20 protests, and said any officer who struck the innocent passerby could face a manslaughter charge.

This week the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) appointed the City of London force to investigate the incident, deciding against using its own independent investigators.

Paddick told the Guardian: “How can the City of London do the investigation independently? I’m sorry but there are three City of London officers in that video, how can they do the investigation? It certainly needs to be a full-blown criminal investigation … [into] whether there is a provable link between the death and assault, because an assault is a criminal offence. Police are allowed to use force, provided it is justified.”

April 8 2009,Commissioner’s statement on death of Ian Tomlinson:

The Commissioner has said that video images released in the media in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson “raise obvious concerns” and has said the Met will fully support the IPCC’s investigation.

. . . Sir Paul Stephenson said: “My thoughts are with Mr Tomlinson’s family at this time. The images that have now been released raise obvious concerns and it is absolutely right and proper that there is a full investigation into this matter, which the Met will fully support.”

April 8 2009, The Guardian:

Britain’s police watchdog today reversed its decision to allow police to investigate the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London last week after watching Guardian video footage of a baton-wielding officer attacking him.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission will appoint its own investigators to conduct a full criminal inquiry into whether Tomlinson was assaulted by police and whether that attack contributed to his death.

The IPCC has ordered a second postmortem examination, which aims to provide medical evidence as to what caused the death of the newspaper seller. The first attributed his death to natural causes.

April 17 2009, The Guardian:

Second postmortem into G20 death finds Ian Tomlinson suffered abdominal haemorrhage rather than heart attack. . .

April 18 2009, The Guardian:

Ian Tomlinson’s family say they were ‘badly misled by police’ after it emerges that he died from internal bleeding . . .

April 26 2009, The Guardian:

A Scotland Yard officer boasted about “the unwashed getting a good kicking” at the G20 protests in a police blog entry posted a day after the death of Ian Tomlinson.

May 8 2009, The Guardian:

. . . Tomlinson’s family announced they have submitted four new complaints to the IPCC relating to the actions of other officers in the vicinity on the evening of 1 April. At least 15 police officers were stood near to Tomlinson when he was attacked. In a statement, the family said the IPCC has been asked to investigate:

  • The possible “use of a dog” against Tomlinson, which is understood to be a reference to the discovery of a possible dog bite on his leg.
  • Potential failures by officers who witnessed the attack on Tomlinson but failed to intervene and, later, did not report the incident.
  • The “content and timing” of press communications put out by Scotland Yard in the aftermath of the death, which have been viewed as misleading.
  • Whether officers close to Tomlinson acted in a “timely manner” in delivering first aid and liaising with the ambulance service.

May 15 2009, The Guardian:

IPCC to investigate whether public was deliberately misled over suspected involvement of officers . . .

June 13 2009, The Guardian, Two cases, two deaths:

Question marks remain over Metropolitan police and deaths of Blair Peach and Ian Tomlinson . . .

June 30, 2009, The Guardian:

A senior police officer who investigated the death of Ian Tomlinson told his family that the officer who struck him at the G20 demonstrations could have been a member of the public “dressed in police uniform”, it emerged last night.

July 2 2009, The Guardian:

The pathologist who said Ian Tomlinson died of natural causes at the G20 protests has been suspended from an official government register and is under two separate investigations into his professional conduct, it emerged today. . .

July 5 2009, The Guardian:

The Metropolitan police officer being investigated for an assault on Ian Tomlinson before he died had a chequered history which should have barred him from the force, it has emerged.

Investigations have revealed that the officer, who was in the Tactical Support Group during the G20 protests, had previously been accused of using unnecessary force while serving with the Met.

July 7 2009, The Guardian:

A 60-page report, Adapting to Protest, has been published by Denis O’Connor, the chief inspector of constabulary, after condemnation of the Metropolitan police’s handling of the London G20 demonstrations in April. Newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson died after being struck by a police officer while he was walking home during the protest . . .

August 4 2009, The Guardian:

Citizen journalism counters police propaganda . . .

August 7 2009, The Guardian, Memos reveal IPCC haste to declare Ian Tomlinson death an accident:

Investigators decided there was no evidence of police wrongdoing in the death of Ian Tomlinson just three days after he collapsed at the G20 protests, it has emerged tonight.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) planned to announce that it had completed its assessment into Tomlinson’s death on 1 April and discovered nothing suspicious. At 11.30am on 4 April, investigators prepared a document announcing Tomlinson died of a heart attack after being caught up among protesters “dressed entirely in black” who, it said, were charging police.

“It was during this charge and retreat that Mr Tomlinson has seemed to have been caught up in the crowds and a number of people describe seeing him ‘collapse and fall to the ground’.”

The statement went on to say the IPCC had examined CCTV of the incident, police records and statements from independent witnesses, and been “satisfied that there is no evidence that the actions of those officers present on Cornhill contributed in any way to the sudden and untimely death of an innocent bystander.”

November 5 2009, The Guardian:

The family of Ian Tomlinson, the man who died at the G20 protest after being attacked by the police, has been told it would be “inappropriate” for an official watchdog to consider whether officers were involved in a cover-up.

November 25 2009, The Guardian:

But no amount of reform can console Tomlinson’s family, who believe police attempted a cover-up over his death. They are still waiting to hear if the Crown Prosecution Service will prosecute the officer who attacked him.

December 2 2009, The Guardian:

. . .comment ‘making light’ of death of Ian Tomlinson . . .

After the death of Tomlinson during the London G20 protests in April, the [Metropolitan Police] officer posted an update stating: “I see my lot have murdered someone again. Oh well, shit happens.”

2 replies »

  1. The only pandemic in the world is that of police brutality/murder being left unchecked…and I'd say encouraged by their masters. Obviously, the only lives that matter are their own.

    Like

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