Wednesday, April 8, 2009

London G20 death: video of police pushing Ian Tomlinson

The big news in Britain and that I've been following since it was first reported is about the news that a man on his way home from work collapsed and died of a heart attack at the G20 protests in London last week. The intial report was that the man, Ian Tomlinson, collapsed and died but further details kept coming to light about an alleged assault by the police. Police watchdog IPCC announces plan to investigate death of Ian Tomlinson at London G20 protest Full statement from the Independent Police Complaints Commission on the investigation into the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protest in London last week. The IPCC today decided to take over the investigation after the Guardian published a video showing a police officer hitting Tomlinson. The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is to independently investigate the alleged assault by police on Ian Tomlinson shortly before his death. The investigation will also look into whether that contact might have contributed to his death. (link via guardian.co.uk) Video of police assaulting Ian Tomlinson, shortly before he was found dead at G20 protests in London It seems like the more details we hear (and see via video) about this incident the more it appears to be an unprovoked attack by the police. It's also interesting that with all the CCTV cameras in London and police probably filming everyone at the protests that day, that the video showing the assault was taken by an American in London on business. What are your thoughts about this incident?

8 comments:

  1. It certainly looks like he was assaulted from behind by the policeman without good reason.
    The police have an appalling record when it comes to such incidents and I've no doubt that this one will prove to be just as controversial whatever the outcome. xx

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  2. I agree, Flighty. The video shows the man, Mr. Tomlinson, walking along with his hands in his pockets and the policeman behind him clearly pushing him down.

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  3. Not surprisingly I've been following this in the media and thought that this article was particularly good
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/deborah-orr/deborah-orr-the-catalogue-of-incidents-that-tell-the-met-is-out-of-control-1666141.html

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  4. I was disappointed to see this. I was one who commended the old Bill last week for their hard work and seemingly good behaviour, despite the circumstances. There I go being all gullible again.

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  5. I believe that, although tragic, this death is certainly an unusual occurrence, and not to be taken as typical of police tactics at this time! Yes, the man appears to be walking, and the policeman appears to firstly hit his legs, and then push him violently, but we do not see what happened in the minutes before the attack happened.
    Did the police verbally warn the man now dead as to his behaviour? We don't know, and while it looks bleak for the constable, we should not rush to judgement just yet!

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  6. Thanks for sharing the link to the article in The Independent, Flighty. I agree - it's a very good article.

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  7. It takes time for details about incidents such as this tragic one to come to light so you could only go by the initial reports Melissa.

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  8. Mike, even if they warned the man and/or felt provoked, I don't think it is an excuse for the officer who hit and pushed Ian Tomlinson. If the police really had reason for believing he was causing trouble, they could have grabbed him and handcuffed him and arrested him (there were certainly enough police standing behind him!). And another reason why it looks bad for the police is that initially they said a man collapsed and died and they said they had no previous contact with Ian Tomlinson. Why did the police lie? And why did the police also lie about being "pelted with bottles" by protesters when giving aid to Ian Tomlinson when it turned out to be one bottle that was thrown in their direction?

    While I agree we should not rush to judgement, it's difficult to know when to believe what the police say. I think a lot of people (myself included) are finding it hard to forget all the blatant lies the police told after they killed Jean Charles de Menezes. And now everytime they make a mistake - and lie about it - it only adds to the loss of trust and respect of the public for the police.

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