Tag Archives: ian tomlinson

Opinion: The G20 protests – two months on, what lessons have been learned?

Two months have passed since the G20 and the brutal police operation against protesters in the City of London. Yesterday the Metropolitan Police Authority (MPA) met for the second time since the operation to question Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson.

At the first meeting the Met showed no signs of having taken on board the serious and widespread criticism of their actions and at times actively mis-represented what had taken place in an attempt to spin themselves out of trouble. So it was with a fair deal of scepticism that myself and Anna Bragga of Defend Peaceful Protest went down to …

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Opinion: We need a proper public debate on the future of protest policing in our country

Force is a physical power, and I fail to see what moral effect it can have. To yield to force is an act of necessity, not of will — at the most, an act of prudence. In what sense can it be a duty?’
J Jacques Rousseau

I don’t think I am the only one to have quoted the social contract over the G20 protests earlier this month. 350 years on from its writing, Rousseau’s work is still strikingly relevant. It is clear from the outcry following G20 that many are now questioning the role of …

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Police who hide ID numbers face the sack

Police officers who conceal their Force Identification Numbers “will face the sack” according to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson. He said it is “totally unacceptable” for officers not to wear their shoulder numbers.

From the BBC:

His comments follow allegation against several officers at the G20 protests – including the man who pushed newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson before he died.

New footage has emerged of the moments leading up to his death, as a third post-mortem examination was held.

Mr Tomlinson, 47, died minutes after he was pushed over during the demonstrations in central London.

The officer at the centre of the allegations

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Dee Doocey: “Surveillance cuts both ways”

“Never again,” says Dee Doocey AM, Member of the Metropolitan Police Authority, on the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 demonstrations on April 1st.

Writing on the Progressive London blog today, Dee lists six basic principles which should be reflected in future police policy towards protest:

• Demonstrations and other peaceful forms of protest are a fundamental democratic right

• Demonstrations are usually peaceful

• Policing should be proportionate

• It is unacceptable for any officer deliberately to obscure his or her identification number

• The police must exercise due care and attention when making statements to the media

• The police have Britain’s reputation …

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Ian Tomlinson did not die of a heart attack

Sky has the story:

A second post-mortem into the death of G20 protest victim Ian Tomlinson has shown he died from an internal bleeding and not a heart attack.

The 47-year-old newspaper vendor was seen being shoved violently by police and then being pushed to the floor during the London rally.

The officer involved in the incident has since been questioned under caution for manslaughter, the Independent Police Complaints Commission has confirmed.

Mr Tomlinson was first thought to have died from a heart attack but the second post-mortem examination has contradicted these findings,

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Are City police trying to nobble CCTV footage?

Dr Pack of this parish has been tracking the IPCC through various dimensions of reality with the assiduity of a timelord over the past few days. First they said there were no public CCTV cameras in the Cornhill area, then they said there were cameras but they weren’t turned on, then they said the chap who said there were no cameras thought he was right but wasn’t, etc etc.

Well, at least they seem to be getting their act together with regard to private CCTV footage in the area. They claimed yesterday:

Continue reading »

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IPCC changes its story (again) over CCTV coverage of Ian Tomlinson

First the IPCC said CCTV footage relating to Ian Tomlinson being hit by police was given to them by Channel 4.

Then the IPCC said actually there were no CCTV cameras covering the incident.

Then the IPCC said actually, yes there were cameras but none of them were working.

And today the IPCC brings us its fourth version: “The police watchdog has said its chairman was wrong to say there was no CCTV footage of an alleged police assault at the G20 protests” (BBC. See my earlier posting for sources for the first three versions.).

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Ian Tomlinson’s death and the CCTV puzzler

In a good bit of sleuthing, the Ill and Ancient blog (via Wardman Wire) has put together a photo montage revealing that there are three CCTV cameras in place covering the location where Ian Tomlinson got hit and pushed to the ground by a policeman during the G20 protests. You can see it for yourself here.

Why does this matter? Well, it’s because the police and the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission, who are investigating Ian Tomlinson’s death) have both said there’s no CCTV footage of the incident.

I’ve previously blogged about the contrast between the earlier very …

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Why those most critical of Ian Tomlinson should be his greatest fans

As Janet Street Porter pus it in the Independent on Sunday today:

One columnist has said that the “steady drip” of information about background is designed to denigrate an ordinary man.

The drip drip has been of information such as Ian Tomlinson having a drink problem and living in a hostel. It’s intended to appeal to that authoritarian agenda, so beloved often by some tabloids, traditional Conservatives and New Labour politicians, which thinks, “Drunk?  That’s all his own fault then.”

Leaving aside the absurd idea that just because someone has been drinking alcohol, it’s ok for the police to hit them …

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CommentIsLinked@LDV: Brian Paddick – Police leaders must regain control of their subordinates

Over at The Independent, former Lib Dem London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metroplitan Police, examines the force’s mounting problems. Here’s an excerpt:

Seeing the video of Ian Tomlinson being assaulted by a police officer during the G20 protests – an apparently innocent man being subjected to what appeared to be an unjustified assault by a police officer – provoked in me an immediate desire for the perpetrator to be suspended, tried and punished.

On the other hand, having been the victim of “trial by media” myself, I realised the need for an independent investigation, the outcome

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Damian McBride, Derek Draper and the smears against Tories

The Telegraph has reported:

Row as Number 10 emails ‘smear Tories’
The emails, which made a number of unfounded, innuendo-laden suggestions about the private lives of David Cameron, George Osborne and other Conservative MPs, came into the possession of Paul Staines, who writes the Guido Fawkes political blog…

The prospect of publication alarmed ministers, who feared that they would be accused of orchestrating a smear campaign against senior Tory figures. Some of the emails made lurid claims about Mr Cameron, the Tory leader, and Mr Osborne, the shadow chancellor.

However, there appears to be a degree of trying to spike the story …

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Police change their tune on G20 CCTV coverage

Regarding the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests, reading this:

Nick Hardwick, chairman of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, gives the first interview about the death of Ian Tomlinson to Krishnan Guru-Murthy.

Hardwick said of the assault:

“We don’t have CCTV footage of the incident… there is no CCTV footage, there were no cameras in the location where he was assaulted.”

Speaking to More 4 News, the IPCC confirmed Hardwick’s comment, saying that the CCTV cameras overlooking the incident were not working.

reminds me of how, before the story of the police’s connect to Ian Tomlinson’s death came out, the police

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One week on, and not a peep from Danny

Cast your minds back to 1st April, and the G20 protests in London. You may recall two trenchant articles by The Times’s Daniel Finkelstein savaging four senior Lib Dems – Baroness Williams, Simon Hughes, Chris Huhne and David Howarth – for acting as legal observers monitoring the policing of the climate camp protest timed to coincide with the G20 summit.

Let me refresh your memories. Danny accused this “extraordinary delegation” of Lib Dems of an “extraordinary insult” to the police, and demanded Nick Clegg use Danny’s blog to denounce or renounce the activities of his colleagues.

Lib Dem …

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UPDATED: Ian Tomlinson – C4 has footage too

Well, they’ve kept that under their hats. Channel 4 News tonight revealed their week-old film of the incident involving Ian Tomlinson and a masked riot police officer. Shot from a different angle, the delay in revealing the footage is apparently due to the C4 camera having been broken.

The footage very clearly shows the officer batonning Tomlinson to the leg from behind before pushing him to the ground. I was, frankly, dubious about this bit on the evidence of the Guardian video, but you can’t miss it here. One other thing – the officer is apparently

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Ian Tomlinson – full Lib Dem blog round-up

The Guardian’s video showing a policeman making an unprovoked attack on Ian Tomlinson in London during last week’s G20 protests has sparked a great deal of coverage on Lib Dem blogs today. Here’s a full round-up in chronological order:

Video on Guardian website appears to show police assault on Ian Tomlinson – Jonathan on Liberal England

Ian Tomlinson – video footage emerges – Lib Dem Voice

Shocked and appalled by Guardian’s G20 video – Councillor David Walker: Working for Bridgnorth Morfe Ward all year round!

Guardian video reveals police assault on G20 protestor that died – Duncan

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Lib Dems demand criminal inquiry into Tomlinson death

The BBC reports:

The Liberal Democrats are demanding a criminal inquiry after video footage of the G20 protest showed a police officer pushing over a man who later died.

Newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, 47, who was walking home from work, suffered a heart attack afterwards outside the Bank of England in central London.

Lib Dem justice spokesman David Howarth said the footage showed a “sickening and unprovoked attack” by police.

The IPCC is investigating and said it would examine the footage.

Here’s Lib Dem shadow justice secretary David Howarth’s statement on the Guardian video showing a policeman attacking Mr Tomlinson shortly …

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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

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Update on G20 death inquiry

The Observer reports on witness statements taken by the Independent Police Complaints Commission:

Investigators are examining a series of corroborative accounts that allege Ian Tomlinson, 47, was a victim of police violence in the moments before he collapsed near the Bank of England in the City of London last Wednesday evening. Three witnesses have told the Observer that Mr Tomlinson was attacked violently as he made his way home from work at a nearby newsagents. One claims he was struck on the head with a baton.

A police source told the Observer that Mr Tomlinson appears to have become caught between police lines and protesters, with officers chasing back demonstrators during skirmishes.

This possibility is supported by footage of an Al Jazeera reporter being caught in a police charge and pushed into the main body of the protestors while reporting to camera:

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