Ian Tomlinson – video footage emerges

The video uncovered by the Guardian and apparently shot by a New York banker, shows Tomlinson walking along slowly, hands in pockets, away from a line of police who are handling dogs. They are moving forward behind him, when one apparently gets impatient, lunges forward and sends Tomlinson sprawling to the ground. There is an audible crack at this point, though it’s impossible to tell where it’s coming from.

Tomlinson is then helped by two protestors, and seems to be asking the police what the hell they did that for. One of them appears to answer very aggressively. Though in reality it’s hard to tell who is talking. The video then shows Tomlinson getting up and walking away dazedly. A few minutes later he collapsed.

The Guardian’s voiceover also points out that the police “initially said protestors impeded medics from treating Tomlinson”. No more  comment is made, but at least this indicates an awareness of the contrary evidence put forward by other eyewitnesses (video at the foot of this post).

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  • I had assumed previously that he might have been knocked down by police in some kind of chaotic melee, but it seems clear that this was a deliberate, unprovoked assault on the part of the police officer.

  • Andrew Pickering 7th Apr '09 - 8:49pm

    So it looks like Daniel Finkelstein (see post at http://timesonline.typepad.com/comment/2009/04/a-question-for-nick-clegg-on-the-g20-protests.html) owes Nick Clegg an apology.

  • Andrew Pickering 7th Apr '09 - 8:53pm

    Further to my post above, I should add that the main concern is that a man is dead; I do not mean to exploit this for party political purposes.

  • Here’s a link to a clip showing the BBC Home Affairs Correspondent, Daniel Sandford, commenting on the video footage:

    “This now is going to raise some more serious questions about the police behaviour on that night.”

  • the issue is being investigated by ipcc- who in turn have asked the police to investigate. there has to be an independent enquiry and the policing attitude towards protests and demonstrations must change. all this cannot happen while our right honourable home seceratry is watching left handed films.

  • “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.”

    Can anyone explain how any independent witness – or any witness at all – could testify that Tomlinson had had no contact with the police – unless that witness had been observing him continuously ever since he entered the area?

    This IPCC statement poses so many questions. Who were these “independent witnesses”? If they really told the IPCC that Tomlinson had had no contact with the police before he collapsed and died, why were they lying? And why would the IPCC have given credence to such inherently implausible claims in the first place?

  • Thank goodness this footage has come to light, as it’s clear the Metropolitan Police have been caught in the act of executing another cover-up.

    It’s incidents like this that demonstrate why giving them endless powers of stop and search, to see your ID card (coming soon to a police officer near you!) and a belief that they can do no wrong is severely unjustified.

  • If Ian Tomlinson had been a Freemason, rather than a newspaper seller, the officer who killed him would have been drummed out of the Force without a pension, and an extremely generous sum would have been paid (secretly) to the victim’s family.

    In 1977, Chief Superintendant Leonard Burt of Dorset Police was called in to investigate corruption in the Met (“Operation Countryman”). Burt identified 77 senior Met officers as seriously corrupt. What happened? Burt had to give up and go home to Dorset, because even the so-called “honest” officers closed ranks behind the scheisters.

  • LFT:

    “unprovoked”, “assault”, “cover up”

    Only one of these words is actually used in either Alix’s article or the Guardian piece. I fear you’re trying to construct a straw man of the Left to provide a foil to your arguments, rather than having deal with the fact that the police appear to have used unnecessary violence on a man who died shortly afterwards.

    I’ve read your piece, and the tone is troubling. You appear to be saying that he deserved to be beaten because he was being a bit of an idiot towards the police. Since when did the state get the power to beat up those it’s taken a dislike to?

    See, I can make straw men too.

  • Letters from a Tory

    Of course what happened was an assault. Even in your own blog you don’t go so far as to deny that: “shoving someone over is arguably some form of assault regardless of the context”.

    As for the rest of it, you really should learn to distinguish between opinion and fact. If you are going to contradict every single statement that’s been made about this – including the statements made by the police – by claiming that Tomlinson was part of the protest, you’d better have some stronger evidence than that he couldn’t have been returning from work because he was wearing “plain clothes”. One wonders what planet you come from, if you think newspaper vendors wear a suit and tie, even in the City of London!

  • Anonymous 1 – and wasn’t the advice given to city ‘workers’ that they should dress down specifically so they wouldn’t be targetted by uncontrolable violent elements intent on disrupting the peaceful protest (in other words the Met police)?

  • Scruritniser 18th Apr '09 - 9:38pm

    Does anyone remember Blair Peach? The teacher from New Zealand who was killed at an Anti-Nazi League rally in 1979,after being struck several times across the head with a police radio belonging to what was then the Special Patrol Group. The Metropolitan Police’s division assigned to deal with public order,just like the TSG is today. The SPG were thugs,and the TSG are just the SPG re-branded. I sincerely hope that the thug plod who is more than likely responsible for the death of Mr. Tomlinson is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,and imprisoned as any civilian thug would be. My sympathies go out to Mr. Tomlinson’s family.

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