Jump to content

Video reveals G20 police assault on man who died


Recommended Posts

See link for video

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/v...-police-assault

The Guardian obtained this footage of Ian Tomlinson at a G20 protest in London, shortly before he died. It shows Tomlinson, who was not part of the demonstration, being assaulted from behind and pushed to the ground by baton-wielding police

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 is preparing to hand a dossier of evidence to the police complaints watchdog. It sheds new light on the events surrounding the death of the 47-year-old newspaper seller, who had been on his way home from work when he was confronted by lines of riot police near the Bank of England.

The submission to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) includes a collection of testimonies from witnesses, along with the video footage, shot at around 7.20pm, which shows Tomlinson at Royal Exchange Passage.

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, where he remonstrates with police who stand back, leaving bystanders to help him to his feet. The man who shot the footage, a fund manager from New York who was in London on business, said: "The primary reason for me coming forward is that it was clear the family were not getting any answers."

The Guardian's dossier also includes a sequence of photographs, taken by three different people, showing the aftermath of the attack, as well as witness statements from people in the area at the time. A number of witnesses provided time and date-stamped photographs that substantiate their accounts.

Some said they saw police officers attack Tomlinson. Witnesses said that, prior to the moment captured on video, he had already been hit with batons and thrown to the floor by police who blocked his route home.

One witness, Anna Branthwaite, a photographer, described how, in the minutes before the video was shot, she saw Tomlinson walking towards Cornhill Street.

"A riot police officer had already grabbed him and was pushing him," she said.

"It wasn't just pushing him – he'd rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable.

"It was the force of the impact. He bounced on the floor. It was a very forceful knocking down from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton when he was lying on the floor.

"So it wasn't just that the officer had pushed him – it became an assault.

"And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him.

"He was running and stumbling. He didn't turn and confront the officer or anything like that."

The witness accounts contradict the official version of events given by police.

In an official statement on the night of Tomlinson's death, the Metropolitan police made no reference to any contact with officers and simply described attempts by police medics and an ambulance crew to save his life after he collapsed – efforts they said were marred by protesters throwing missiles as first aid was administered .

The force said officers had created a cordon around Tomlinson to give him CPR.

"The officers took the decision to move him as during this time a number of missiles - believed to be bottles - were being thrown at them," it said.

Yesterday, the IPCC began managing an investigation by City of London police into the circumstances of Tomlinson's death after the Guardian published photographs of him on the ground and witness statements indicated he had been assaulted by police officers. The 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 who saw him in the Royal Exchange area have since told us that Mr Tomlinson did have contact with police officers.

"This would have been a few minutes before he collapsed. It is important that we are able to establish as far as possible whether that contact had anything to do with his death."

The IPCC added that Tomlinson was captured on CCTV walking onto Royal Exchange Passage.

"This is the aspect of the incident that the IPCC is now investigating," it said.

It was here the video was shot. A post mortem carried out by a Home Office pathologist last Friday revealed Tomlinson died of a heart attack.

Prior to seeing the dossier of evidence, Tomlinson's family said in a statement: "There were so many people around where Ian died, and so many people with cameras, that somebody must have seen what happened in the Royal Exchange passageway.

"We need to know what happened there and whether it had anything to do with Ian's death.

"We know that some people who were at the protest may not feel comfortable talking to the police.

"People are putting pictures on the internet, writing on blogs and talking to journalists. But we really need them to talk to the people who are investigating what happened."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The police officer who pushed him from behind was out of line, there is no disputing that. It is a tragedy that he died of a subsequent heart attack. I will say that from that video, it looked like he was walking very slowly in front of police who were clearing the street. They may have taken that as someone being defiant, and reacted to it (police should not react to people for provoking them, only for resisting them). The sad part is the guy died from a heart attack moments later, and his slow walking could have been caused by pains he was experiencing as the heart attack began.

This takes away nothing from the disgust I feel when I see the video of the protesters throwing bottles at the police who were subsequently attending to him when he was down on the sidewalk. It only adds a new object of anger to this tragic story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure how things work in England but if this was the states that constable on patrol would get off easy.

there will be an investigation by the independent police complaints commision and depending on what they find he will either go unpunished or be reprimanded, however in my eyes the guy should be down the job centre tommorow for what he did.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not sure how things work in England but if this was the states that constable on patrol would get off easy.
there will be an investigation by the independent police complaints commision and depending on what they find he will either go unpunished or be reprimanded, however in my eyes the guy should be down the job centre tommorow for what he did.

I understand the outrage because the guy died, but pushing someone to the ground is hardly firing a gun at an unarmed suspect. The officer screwed up and needs punishment, possibly the loss of his job (I would have no problem with that). But this is a situation where the officer has a little more of a leg to stand on given the totality of the circumstances. He did not intentionally kill this guy, and there has yet to be proof that the actions of the police are the cause of his heart attack (though it seems fairly likely).

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the policman who pushed him should lose his job. The guy wasn't trying to kill him but he is a copper he should know better than to push someone down like that. Its not like the guy wasn't moving at all, he was, he was just slow. Now I don't know what the guy told the coppers that might have provoked them but from that video it seems like the policeman acted irresponsibly.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the policman who pushed him should lose his job. The guy wasn't trying to kill him but he is a copper he should know better than to push someone down like that. Its not like the guy wasn't moving at all, he was, he was just slow. Now I don't know what the guy told the coppers that might have provoked them but from that video it seems like the policeman acted irresponsibly.

I agree. I would like to see how all this shakes out as right now we have a bunch of anti-establishment folks saying one thing and the establishment saying the opposite. I imagine the truth is somewhere in the middle. Either way, its tragic story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's a ****ing joke. In Britain the police can't be punished. They can drive their own cars at close to 200mph and go unpunished because they were 'trained to drive at that speed' (doesn't mean he wasn't speeding...), shoot innocent men to death on the tube and go unpunished because 'they thought he was a terrorist', and beat a man to death because 'other people were throwing missiles at them'.

**** tha police.

DSC00336.JPG

Link to comment
Share on other sites

the policman who pushed him should lose his job. The guy wasn't trying to kill him but he is a copper he should know better than to push someone down like that. Its not like the guy wasn't moving at all, he was, he was just slow. Now I don't know what the guy told the coppers that might have provoked them but from that video it seems like the policeman acted irresponsibly.

Kid it's still manslaughter. A 19 year old was put in prison for five years yesterday because he threw a bottle into a pub (not at anyone, just into the pub), it shattered and a shard sliced some woman in the throat and killed her. You can't push someone into the floor so hard that the impact their head makes with the floor is enough to kill them and not get charged with manslaughter.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

update: Friday, 17 April 2009 18:00 UK

A policeman has been interviewed under caution on suspicion of manslaughter after new tests overturned the cause of a newspaper-seller's death. Ian Tomlinson, 47, was struck and pushed over by a police officer during G20 protests on 1 April in the City.

Now a fresh post-mortem examination has found he died of abdominal bleeding, not a heart attack, as first thought. Lawyers for the family said the new post-mortem test raised the likelihood of a manslaughter charge.

In its statement, the Coroner's Court said the inquest had looked at the first post-mortem examination carried out after Mr Tomlinson collapsed and died on the evening of 1 April.

The statement concluded that both the opinions remained provisional and subject to further investigations and tests.

In a response, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said: "Following the initial results of the second post mortem, a Metropolitan police officer has been interviewed under caution for the offence of manslaughter as part of an ongoing inquiry into the death of Ian Tomlinson."

That examination, carried out by Dr Freddy Patel, concluded Mr Tomlinson had diseased heart and liver and a substantial amount of blood in the abdominal cavity.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...