Ian Tomlinson news roundup
A few interesting article in the last few days. First, from the Guardian:
New footage obtained by the Guardian today gives an insight into the way police and protesters treated Ian Tomlinson, the man who collapsed and died shortly after being struck and pushed over by the police at last week’s G20 protest.
The video provides further evidence that the initial explanation of Tomlinson’s final moments released by police was misleading. It also corroborates the version of events given to the Guardian by witnesses to his death, some of whom are pictured in the film.
Note: the video in the above article shows a single bottle being thrown at police; the aggression stops immediately after other protestors explain that someone is hurt. This, it seems, is the incident referred to as a hail of missiles in the initial police report.
Meanwhile, the officer responsible for pushing Tomlinson has come forward.
This article from the Guardian investigates the police’s press management over the incident:
It began with an anodyne press release from the Metropolitan police more than three hours after Ian Tomlinson died. It ended with a police officer and an investigator from the Independent Police Complaints Commission asking the Guardian to remove a video from its website showing an unprovoked police assault on Mr Tomlinson minutes before his heart attack.
In the space of five days through a combination of official guidance, strong suggestion and press releases, those responsible for examining the circumstances surrounding Mr Tomlinson’s death within the City of London police and the IPCC, appeared to be steering the story to what they thought would be its conclusion: that the newspaper vendor suffered an unprovoked heart attack as he made his way home on the night of the G20 protests.
Late last Friday, after investigators from the IPCC had spoken to detectives from City police, the commission which claims it is the most powerful civilian oversight body in the world, was preparing to say it did not need to launch an inquiry into the deathduring one of the most controversial recent policing operations.
But the release of the video by the Guardian this week, which revealed Mr Tomlinson was subjected to an unprovoked attack by a Met riot squad officer minutes before he died, has forced the IPCC to step up to the demand that it launch a full independent inquiry.
“They have caught a real cold on this,” said a senior source. “They were very slow, they clearly didn’t think anything was wrong and they didn’t look for it. Sometimes they just don’t seem to be very independent.”
And, from the Daily Mail (yes, I know):
And little by little, the ‘truth’ has dripped out about Ian Tomlinson, the man who died after being struck by police during the G20 riots.
He was (wait for it) wearing a Millwall shirt. He was (now steady yourselves) smoking a cigarette.
He appeared to be (and I’m sorry but you may need to lie down after this) drunk. Well, stone me guv, he had it coming to him.
We can’t have half-cut Millwall supporters staggering about the City of London unchecked; one might obstruct the path of a senior banking executive en route to a six-hour lunch engagement.
And then where would the nation’s finances be? Tomlinson, who died of a heart attack shortly after being roughly shoved to the ground and hit by riot police, was not a City worker in the conventional sense.
He did not wear a suit or have an expense account. He had never mismanaged a hedge fund, or tipped some poor soul’s pension down the drain.
In this sense, he was not regarded by modern society as a successful man, or even a particularly respectable one. This does not make him expendable, though.
Tomlinson was a newspaper vendor with a drink problem, living in a shelter near Smithfield meat market.
He may have argued with police at an earlier time while trying to leave the City area. He may have been drunk.
He was, however, doing absolutely no harm in the minutes before he died, or at the moment when he was attacked.
ITN have broadcast additional footage of the assault on Tomlinson, showing more clearly the baton swing as well as the shove.