The scandal of no prosecution over Ian Tomlinson’s death


12:28 pm - July 22nd 2010

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contribution by Helen

Today, the CPS ruled that no charges would be brought against the police officer who assaulted Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests last year.

Tomlinson died shortly afterwards, but the incident in which he was struck by a police baton and pushed to the ground by an officer, was captured on camera and released to the public.

After the G20 there followed a shameful campaign of misinformation and attempted secrecy by the police, who initially claimed that they were prevented from giving Tomlison medical treatment by a “hail of bottles” thrown by protestors.

That claim which was later discounted by video evidence showing that protestors were much quicker to give Tomlinson medical aid than police.

The baton strike was not initially acknowledged by the police, who claimed that Tomlinson died of a heart attack, until the videos were published online.

Misinformation
From the start, every action by the police was in the interest of protecting themselves. The police’s diagnosis of a heart attack was confirmed by an initial post mortem. However, following a public outcry and intense press converage, it was revealed that the pathologist concerned had been previously discredited, and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) ordered a second post mortem, which found that Tomlinson had died of internal bleeding.

In the meantime, protests about Tomlinson’s death and the appalling police misconduct at the G20 demonstration were overshadowed by continued police violence. Sgt Smellie, the officer charged with misconduct after beating Nicola Fisher at a protest about Tomlinson’s death the next day, was later cleared of all charges despite video evidence documenting the attack.

Despite detailed and consistent evidence describing the police misconduct at the G20, and a commitment by the MPA to ensure the events of the day are not repeated, almost no police officers have been charged with misconduct or assault in the 15 months since, and no charges whatsoever have been withheld.

The message is clear: the police are above justice, and if you are the victim of police brutality, you can expect to have your complaints ignored (or “investigated” for long months before being dropped) and to see the perpetrators not only walk free, but continue doing their jobs and use similar violence against others.

No doubt anticipating public outrage at this news, the CPS have released a detailed report explaining how they came to drop the charges.

The charge of common assault could not be brought because of the “strict six month time limit” enforced. The police’s attempts to direct blame away from themselves in the ensuing weeks, and the slowness of the IPCC in pursuing complaints, yet again work in the police’s favour due to a legal loophole.

Pattern
This is not the first time a police officer has been acquitted of all charges after the public slaughter of an innocent member of the public. The IPCC announced last October, after a lengthy appeals process, that it stands by its decision not to recommend disciplinary actions against the MPS officers involved in the fatal shooting of Jean Charles de Menezes in July 2005.

Not to mention the many deaths in police custody which are reported each year, but which strangely never result in charges being upheld against the police. The pattern, at least, is consistent.

—–
cross-posted from Police State UK, where there is a longer version

Pictures from the demo – by @Politiclcustardmore here.

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Reader comments


WARNING

Stay away from London. Gangs of violent thugs are going around killing innocent people and getting away with it. They call themselves “the Police”

What an apalling cover up. The police yet again get away with murder. Seems that police officers need not now shoot innocent individuals under the guise of terrorism… they are free to bludgeon to death anyone they please even in front of 300 witnesses and whilst being filmed…
The various police forces query why Joe Public don’t give them more support….well maybe its because they are more thuggish than those who they pretend to protect us from….

Good piece, Helen.

4. Jamie_Griff

“it was revealed that the pathologist concerned had been previously discredited”

Can you elaborate on this please, Helen? If the prosecution could call upon witnesses to discredit Dr. Patel then this would surely counter the claim in the CPS report that there was an ‘irreconcilable conflict’ between the medical experts as the testimony of the other -and more numerous- experts would carry more weight. There would then seem to be a very realistic prospect of conviction.

Jamie: Here’s one of the relevant Guardian articles. I was in a hurry to publish and so a couple of links got added to the article after it went up. If you search for “Freddy Patel” on the Guardian website I think they have some more coverage from April/May 09 – I believe Paul Lewis may have covered it.

My understanding is that the reason the IPCC called for a second autopsy is that Dr Patel was under investigation for incompetence relating to four previous autopsies. Given that both subsequent autopsies agreed, it amazes me that the CPS found Dr Patel’s word sufficient to give a verdict of “conflicting medical evidence”.

“it was revealed that the pathologist concerned had been previously discredited”

Can you elaborate on this please, Helen? If the prosecution could call upon witnesses to discredit Dr. Patel then this would surely counter the claim in the CPS report that there was an ‘irreconcilable conflict’ between the medical experts as the testimony of the other -and more numerous- experts would carry more weight. There would then seem to be a very realistic prospect of conviction.

Here you go. I don’t know if there is anything more recent than 14-15 July 2010.

7. Jamie_Griff

Thanks for links. Unbelievable.

I thought “there is no way they can avoid charging the officer with plain old common assault.”

But boy was I wrong:

“Common assault does not require proof of injury, but it is subject to a strict six month time limit. That placed the CPS in a very difficult position because enquiries were continuing at the six month point and it would not have been possible to have brought any charge at that stage.” – CPS statement

(CPS guidance on common assault)

9. David Swift

This is not the first time the police have got away with murder and will not be the last this happens time and time again the only way forward is for everyone to either become an MP or Join the closed ranks of the police then we will then all play on the same level field shame its a closed shop !!

So is there a hint here that the Met and/or CPS let this investigation move out beyond 6 months to make their “choice” a bureaucratic one beyond legal control?

Just par for the course these days.

The cowardly politicians (of all parties) are so scared of being called ‘weak on crime’ by the frothing at the mouth tabloids that they turn a blind eye to the thugery of the police.

This man joins the many others who have been shot, tassered or just beaten up in a cell, and no one ever is disciplined , dismissed, let alone faces criminal charges.

We have the death penalty by stealth now. The crime is irrelevant, it can me murder or just protesting. However if the police decide to execute no charge will be brought. I ‘m sure Mr Green will get right on this seeing as he was so concerned about the heavy handedness of the police when he was shadow home affairs spokesman. Oh of course, that only applies to politicians and middle class tory voters. We become more like America every day.

what can we say this is nothing less than murder RIP ian that bent copper should be be behind bars instead an poor farther is now dead well all bent cops can now go around killing and walking away scott free this is the signal sending o ut god bless the tomlinson famil y

Perhaps there’s a good cost-saving measure for David Cameron? Don’t bother “investigating” police violence. It’s a waste of public resources which achieves nothing at all.

One of the things that concerned me about the uproar over the Raoul Moat Facebook page was the particularly dim view the likes of Cameron seemed to take over the criticism of the police contained on it. Forget the idiotic glorification of the man’s crimes, what really got DC and co wound up was the fact that so many were daring to make anti-police comments.

Incidents like today’s news only serve to reinforce the notion that the police are somehow immune to criticism, as well as highlighting how important it is to have a fully accountable police force in our society, which is something that we just don’t have at present.

15. DisgustedOfTunbridgeWells

I don’t think anyone vaguely sane ever thought anyone would actually face charges over this, the police can do whatever they want and they know it.

Great piece. Sadly, I’m entirely unsurprised…

As well as being an establishment tool and instrument of repression, the police “service” appears to be thuggish, incompetent and corrupt.

Once again, the establishment closes ranks, cheats the system and sticks up for itself – justice denied.

What a bunch of fucking arseholes. I hope the guy who assaulted Ian Tomlinson gets hit by an asteroid (or set on fire, or blinded in a freak accident).

It is quite clear that ‘justice’ is not going to be served through the official channels.

17. Shatterface

Given the police’s use of ‘kettling’ we’re fortunate not to have multiple casualties.

I actually find the fact individual police officers use excessive force less frightening than the cover up. If this had been a police officer who was killed we’d have been guaranteed a conviction of some kind – even if it was of an innocent man.

The police have learned that they can get away with it. They have a standard policy procedure now. When the person is killed they then first go to their friends in the media and smear the particular individual. (Remember Hillsborough or the shooting on the tube) “He jumped the barrier” ,” he was behaving like a terrorist.” CCTV later showed this was bullshit, but the court still found the police not guilty. Why do you think the media get so many tip offs?

Next step is to hire the best lawyers who do all they can to muddy the waters and delay. Then wait while the army of police supporters , and sycophants write to the media telling us “noting to see here, nothing to learn, move along.”

It is almost impossible to bring a police officer to court for something he did on duty.
British courts will not convict, period. So as a result I try to avoid the police as much as I can now. I would cross the road to avoid helping them. It is almost impossible to bring a police officer to court for something he did on duty. Shit even that police officer who let 2 police dogs die in his van, in the heat, just said in court that he was depressed and that was enough for the judge to acquit.

19. the a&e charge nurse

[OP] “This is not the first time a police officer has been acquitted of all charges after the public slaughter of an innocent member of the public” – whatever the rights and wrongs of this particular case I do not think words like ‘slaughter’ reflect either the actions or intentions of those police officers directly involved.

Based on the footage I am not disputing that what happened was both unprofessional and in breach of acceptable standards.

However, ‘slaughter’ implies an intentionality that was simply not evident in this case – the cops hit Tomlinson on the legs and pushed him over, neither of these actions are typically associated with abdominal haemorrhage, the reported cause of death.

During demos cops get pushed around (and worse) demonstrators get pushed around (and worse) – this is the first time I have ever heard of anybody suffering such a torrential GI bleed that it killed them within minutes.
The severity of this type of bleeding almost certainly reflects a latent problem, such as an abdominal aneurysm, perhaps, which was triggered by a relatively innocuous mechanism of injury.

The death of Ian Tomlinson was an avoidable tragedy and individual officers were certainly in the wrong, but I can’t help thinking that this was just one of many other incidents of pushing and shoving during a demo that went horribly wrong.

“We have the death penalty by stealth now.”

No we don’t, you mad, mad person.

But based upon what I have seen / read this does seem a very disappointing outcome.

In fairness to the police officer concerned, Mr Tomlinson wasn’t walking at the speed he wanted him to.

He therefore struck and killed him.

This clearly demonstrates that if you do what you’re told by those in authority the state will protect you. If you don’t you deserve all you get and it does no harm to make the point occasionally………

“this was just one of many other incidents of pushing and shoving during a demo that went horribly wrong.”

Well…not really. I’d hate to lump the police attacking a man walking away from an area of conflict with his hands in his pockets in the same bracket as police and protestors pushing and shoving each other in passionate protest.

I wonder if Mr. Tomlinson’s family are able to take out a personal prosecution against the police officer, I, for one, would contribute to a fund to raise cash for them to do so..

I wonder if Mr. Tomlinson’s family are able to take out a personal prosecution against the police officer, I, for one, would contribute to a fund to raise cash for them to do so..

They may pursue a civil claim. They and anyone else may privately prosecute.

(IIUC)

25. the a&e charge nurse

[22] “This is not the first time a police officer has been acquitted of all charges after the public slaughter of an innocent member of the public” – yes, an important distinction, and one I am not arguing against or trying to defend.

There may or may not have been an element of displaced anger on the cops part perhaps having been spat at earlier, pushed around, verbally abused, or witness to the assault of a colleague, etc – he may have just have been a bully boy who enjoyed intimidating the public?
None of these things justify the actions of the police but may provide additional context?

What made this case exceptional was the catastrophic outcome from relatively low grade abuse – an abuse we should not be willing to except but not tantamount to ‘slaughter’ either.

Good piece and detail Helen.

Agreed that this is an utter travesty of justice. I have blogged myself in disgust at this today too.

27. the a&e charge nurse

[25] Oops, wrong intro quote, should have read – “Well…not really. I’d hate to lump the police attacking a man walking away from an area of conflict with his hands in his pockets in the same bracket as police and protestors pushing and shoving each other in passionate protest.

And NOT, “This is not the first time a police officer has been acquitted of all charges after the public slaughter of an innocent member of the public”

It’s a fucking outrage.

But it was so predictable. All that will happen now is that in about 30 years time, the government at the time will issue some kind of apology or reinvestigation which will highlight ‘technical failures’.

29. Dick the Prick

I’m sure I read that Cressida Dick (no relation) who was gold commander when De Menezez accidently shot himself in the head 7 times has been promoted – whey hey hey; trebles all round!

It has been announced that cop that pushed over Ian Tomlinson leading to his death will not be prosecuted.

quel surprise!

cos “there is no real possibilty of his conviction” say the DPP

BULLSHIT

there are loads of cases of fellas who punch another guy he goes down hits his head hard on the ground and dies of brain trauma

these guys are always prosecuted for manslaughter, it happened someone I vaguely knew in the 70s and he got four years.

another establishment cover up, and a fucking disgrace.

By a strange coincidence, it is exactly 5 years today since the London police executed an innocent plumber. Bastards.

@18 – “So as a result I try to avoid the police as much as I can now. I would cross the road to avoid helping them.”

Me too. I regard all police officers with suspicion and would be far more likely to distrust anything they said than volunteer information.

I think the disconnect between the institution and the people whom it is supposed to serve is frighteningly large – the law never really existed for us anyway, but far less so now – and that the corruption within the organisation is frankly obscene.

It will be interesting to see what, if anything, happens as a result of the upcoming budget cuts.

33. the a&e charge nurse

[32] “Me too. I regard ALL police officers with suspicion” – what, even these two?
http://inspectorgadget.wordpress.com/2010/07/22/cps-announce-g20-tomlinson-charges/

This is not justice. The Police officer should be charged. How can the politicians expect the public to respect and trust the Police if they are allowed to get away with this. I have e-mail my MP and asked him to comment. What else can we/i do?

@33 – yup. Obviously.

I also regard my buddy who just signed up (if he’s not already become a victim of ‘savage cuts’) with suspicion, now he’s become a policemanofficer.

I do not doubt that there are some “decent” coppers, just as there are decent admin workers, or fork-lift truck drivers, or parachutists (unless, y’know, they’re in the army).

However, an admin worker who stabs me in the face would hopefully face prosecution (after receiving a medal for doing everyone a fucking favour). A fork-lift truck driver cannot (easily) abuse a corrupt system to get away with murder; a parachutist is not above the law.

The police are dangerous – they can all fuck off, ‘hero’ or not.

36. the a&e charge nurse

[8] “I thought “there is no way they can avoid charging the officer with plain old common assault – But boy was I wrong”.

The anonymous prosecutor sets out his/her take on the legalities here;
http://theanonymousprosecutor.blogspot.com/2010/07/ian-tomlinson.html

The AP says, “the part I’m struggling with is this:

The separate strike with the baton was also considered. It had left patterned bruising. But where injuries are relatively minor, as these were, the appropriate charge is common assault in accordance with the CPS Charging Standard, which is applied nationally. This Charging Standard was applied in another incident arising from the G20 where a police officer had struck the complainant twice with his baton.
What it doesn’t say is whether it was applied to not charge that officer, or whether it was applied to charge the officer. Slightly unclear phrasing, perhaps”.

*blink*

I thought Life on Mars and Ashes to Ashes were drama-comedy, not documentary.

I guess we learn something now every day. Now shut it, you slags. Get back to work!

Well our government seems happy to extradite Andrew Symeou to Greece over an allegedly similar incident (http://www.justice-for-symeou.com/). He is supposed to have punched someone in a night club resulting in a fatal head injury.

Its notable that in the Symeou case the Greeks fitted him up well and proper. Just like our coppers before they had to fill in all the paperwork introduced to protect innocent people. The paperwork the ConDems want to get rid of.

It would appear that this police force feel free to act outside the law and control the apparatus that administers the law. Perhaps the internet should be used to enable justice to be done. Those who know the identity of these killers and other members of their gang who are assisting in protecting them from justice , should publish their names and home address on the net and then we can let them know personally how we feel about their murderous acts

An absolute fucking disgrace. And they wonder why people loathe the police so much…

Mmmm, vigilanteeism. Because it works so well in Turkey and Mexico!

Just no.

42. alan robinson

The Police, The Courts & CPS are all there to prosecute the citizen, they are not there for the citizen to prosecute them no matter how serious the crime

Its just making sure the police know they have the right to deploy maximum violence without any consequences. I’m sure they’ll be happy of this reassurance when the serious demonstrations/riots start after this psychotic government leaves millions destitute or in near slavery

A&E this is the one that gets me –

SpecialCop

Well the officer could have been pushing him away from the police dog that was biting his leg so it would get chewed off. He could well have claimed the police did nothing whilst the dog ripped into him (if he’d survived long enough not to drop dead of liver failure at a later date).

Tip: If you want to get out of a cordon because your not a protester, dont wonder around with hands in your pockets which may make officers think you’ve got something nasty to stab the with. Dont walk up and down the line of officers goading them. – No need to wonder with hands above your head either, just hold your hands palm out with arms at your sides. Say “I’m not a protester and I’d like to leave”.

Those who support police brutality always come up with something on the same vain.

Maybe the non-prosecution of this copper will be the catalyst that makes MPs bring in an independent police investigation unit, but I doubt it.

It’s unsurprising that people are unsurprised (albeit hopeful) that this and the other copper got away with it. That is the sad indictment upon our society.

45. gherkinette

In my dealings with the IPCC, they all seemed to be ex-coppers themselves. This makes me have less than no faith in them and might explain why they almost always find in favour of the police.

The IPCC needs a massive overhaul to go with the huge kick in the arse the police (especially the Met) need over public accountability. I don’t trust either of them as far as I could throw them, but I doubt the coalition will be tough enough to crack down on our ‘brave boys in blue.’

46. Steve Rothwell

It is surely time for an uprising, a revolution in the UK. This is no isolated incident; rather, it is yet another damning murderous stain against the cops, who are not there to ‘protect and serve’ but to bully and intimidate, with impunity.

The sooner we all realise the police are our enemies … well, let’s be honest, anyone with their eyes open can see this. But for poor Ian Tomlinson’s family to have their noses rubbed in it, and so obviously and unapologetically, is beyond outrage.

Sadly, it seems inevitable that throughout human history there is a recurring catalogue of hierarchical oppression, which increases in severity and frequency as more and more punitive measures are brought to bear against the common person … until we have totalitarianism, or whatever else you want to call it … because the outcome is the same. It would appear that the rulers of this nation are forcing the rise of fascism into a sharp upswing, and through Nanny-Statism and omnipresent surveillance, they seem determined to make life intolerable for all. And let anyone dare pipe up against this! Sure, the media will make a fuss over human rights abuses perpetrated by the authorities, and millions will be aghast, but ultimately the court of public opinion counts for nothing in modern-day Britain. What, then, are we do do in order to seek recourse? Well, being meek and submissive hasn’t worked. We can all expect to have our noses rubbed in the dirt a lot more, because events such as Ian Tomlinson’s assailant getting off scot-free only serve to confirm the situation in England, which is to say it is now one giant open prison. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, everyone is under the thumb. It is sickening in the extreme. And it will get worse.

And the worst part about all of this is the sure and certain knowledge that society WILL become more dysfunctional and dystopian, as trust in others is eroded through nanny-state officialdom, and we career helplessly toward a future where it’s everyone for themselves, and heaven forbid the powers that be will take an interest in your activities. The bar of tolerance for ANYTHING is being set lower and lower … and it will continue this way until we are all enslaved, oppressed, victimised ….. and tragically this will all erupt in murderous bloodshed, and we shall have learned nothing.
There is no future, while ever civil society proceeds in this most un-civil of ways. We are enjoying a brief period of peace, without massive inter-continental conflict … and yet it seems in the very nature of man to constantly, unerringly, be at war with himself.
By seemingly innocuous means, societal tension builds, inexorably so, and there seems no way to avert the sure slide into acrimony and bloodshed.

I wish I could see a more positive future. I hope for the best. But history is a mirror into the future. As we look back, so shall the future echo events of the past. There is just no oversight; no overarching wisdom we collectively draw from.

Event happens. Politicians react, and legislate and restrict. Eventually everything is subject to restriction, curfew, licence, subjugation, arrest, torture, war, death.

And so the cycle continues. As sure as the sun rises, we shall always wear heavily the yoke of mutual self-destruction.

47. the a&e charge nurse

[44] thanks Will – let me lay an allegory on you – I will not make a judgement for now, just let’s see where it leads to?

There is a saying that a doctor is not really a doctor until they have killed somebody.
If/when this happens it is said that professionals close often ranks because next time it happens it could be them, and they would not want to ruin their career due to an error of judgement.
It goes without saying that the consequences of a medical error is often much more serious than the consequences of an administrative error, say.

Turning to the Police it might be argued that if one cop can be taken down for pushing somebody over or hitting them on the leg with a stick (even if the assault is unprovoked) then ALL cops know they are but one relatively minor incident way from a career ending complaint.

Now my sister has been a cop for 20 years and I know from her experiences, not to mention some of the customers that we get in A&E, that there is always another side to the story most of the time – perhaps inevitably some of this free floating frustration and anxiety gets misdirected, and unintentional harm is caused (not necessarily at the same time that a difficult situation arises).

Now I am not saying this is right, and it is certainly unprofessional, but overall I think most British cops are decent and fair, albeit subject to more aggressive instincts especially when they are dealing with sizable, and sometimes threatening crowds?

A man got pushed over and died, that is a tragedy – but he will not be the first or last to suffer a similar fate at the hands of the police except in the next 9,999 cases there will not be a fatality?

Tip: If you want to get out of a cordon because your not a protester, dont wonder around with hands in your pockets which may make officers think you’ve got something nasty to stab the with. Dont walk up and down the line of officers goading them. – No need to wonder with hands above your head either, just hold your hands palm out with arms at your sides. Say “I’m not a protester and I’d like to leave”.

Perhaps they should include this in the How To Be An Honest and Law-Abiding Citizen booklet we are all issued with at birth. What do you mean you don’t have a copy?

the police are our enemies

Rubbish.

A&E 47

there is always another side to the story most of the time

I would go further – there is another side of the story all of the time. But isn’t that why we have jury trials?

If the copper who had pushed Ian been up before a beak then all the evidence would have come out – more so in this case because of the detail that had to be gone into to ‘prove’ this copper did nothing wrong. He may have done nothing wrong – there is that argument. On the other hand what is now seen is that he has walked away scott free and the public trust in the police has, once again, been notched down.

I agree there are some fine coppers out there – but most of us know that those coppers are supposed to be working on behalf of the public – with this case, and others, it is now obvious to the public that this is not the case. The police are, as seen by so many, a law unto themselves.

That tars the good’uns as well as the bad ones.

That isn’t the public or media that has done that – it is the police themselves.

“I do not doubt that there are some “decent” coppers”

And there in lies the real tragedy for the police force. There are decent police officers but they are all getting a bad name because of the police and Establishments determination to protect the bad apples, and to send a message to the proles that we can do what ever we want. All institutions have bad apples but no one protects their own like the police.

The idea of policing by consent has gone out of the window now. This is an organisation that thinks it is above the law. The blame lies full square with the snivelling politicians who just hand over more and more power to the police in the name of being tough on crime. Blair gave them anti terrorist laws and shit me, they were using them at the Labour party conference to effect someone.

In America now it has got to the state that failure to do even the most basic order from a police officer can carry a death sentence. Because you will be tassered. There are already over 300 deaths from tassering in the US. And that is just how the elites like it.

52. Dick the Prick

I worked quite extensively with coppers and there was a claim, can’t state its veracity, that good coppers were held back as their Sgt, Insp, CI etc wanted to keep them and the shite ones got promoted. Dunno. Although I met with some bloody uselss Chief Inspeccies – typical Fast Show sterotypes who could hardly fit into 46″ pants. The guy who did Tommo over looked like a right …..contact your internet provider.

Sally – being tasered isn’t a death sentence. It might kill you, but then, being shot in the legs to subdue you might kill you too.

Taser proliferation is a serious problem, but let’s not pretend it’s an institutionalised campaign to wipe out everyone with a slightly dicky heart, eh?

On the issue of police trust, more generally – I really do think that they’re losing that trust, and they don’t particularly seem to care. Yes, there are individual good policemen – but there are individual awful policemen too, and a whole lot more mediocre ones. But over-the-top suppression techniques seem to be the officially-sanctioned route taken by the police, not just the preserve of the bad apples.

Police should uphold the law, and the law should be fair. I’m not sure either of those statements are unquestionably true any more.

As for the doctor’s malpractice example in 47 – I guess a lot of it comes down to intent and risk. If a doctor accidentally kills someone because they weren’t paying attention when they should have been, or gave the wrong dosage of some drug, or got case sheets mixed up – it’s not necessarily the case that they should be struck off the medical register or prosecuted for manslaughter. I’m not sure how the “authorities” (whoever they may be for those cases) look on incidents like that at the moment – maybe there’s an argument for limited immunity against honest mistakes. But they absolutely should be investigated, and recorded, publicly. Otherwise how do you distinguish between someone who let their attention wander, once, at a crucial moment; and someone who’s just lazy and should be prosecuted for multiple counts of manslaughter and negligence?

I cant belive people ARE acually defending this act… it has been on VIDEO evidence, the guy had his hands in his pockets, his back to the police AND was walking away !!!!!

I feel sick to my stomach that I live in a country where police brutality is accepted!!! There are there to uphold the law… they are NOT the law!!!!

This guy has died due to the behaviour of someone who acted withoutt consideration to the threat this person posed… NONE!!!!!!!!

The police are not above the law yet if we continue to treat them as such behaviour becomes more acceptable!!!

I belive the phrase that is used for batton use is ” minimum force required”

ha this is almost laughable if the end result wasn’t so tragic!!!!

56. the a&e charge nurse

[55] it was just a few weeks ago that a cop was blinded after being shot in the face http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2010/07/15/raoul-moat-shot-pc-david-rathband-nicked-gun-maniac-before-115875-22414312/

In some cases more than a baton is required and the police can be recipients as well as perpetrators of acts of violence – some of the people on this thread seem to think that policing is all so easy?

I think most British cops are decent and fair

For the “few bad apples” argument to work, the rest have to be seen to be confronting the bad ones. Since they’ve made a political decision not to do so, they’ve only got themselves to blame if people conclude that the whole barrel’s rotten.

No I dont and yes its sad that that police man was shot and I agree its a difficult job,,,,,,

however let not loose focus of this particular case-

The guy had his hands in his pocket – check
walking away from police – check
not shouting and being threatening – check

Hit by police batton from behind- check
pushed in back by police- check

So Sorry which part of the above deserved him to sustain such injuries that lead to his Death!!!???As I work with police daily and the effects off I think i have the right to pass judgement as does everyones else. I appreciate not easy job HOWEVER the video of this event does not lie!!!!

Some people on this thread think that an episode where a police officer has suffered justifies another effort on unrequired violence

the police can be recipients as well as perpetrators of acts of violence

Of course they can. The difference is that when someone assaults a police officer they find themselves before the beak before they know what’s hit them. But when a police officer assaults someone else, we get 16 months of “investigation”, followed by bugger all.

“some of the people on this thread seem to think that policing is all so easy?”

BULLSHIT!

We just ask that the police conform to the law. We give them many special advantages to police us. We have a right to expect that the police will get rid of their bad apples. They refuse to do so. In fact they go out of their way to keep the worst officers.

Too often these days the police seem to think they are above the law. They are not. They are a tax paid for service. But the blame rests with the politicians. They are the ones who refuse to control the police. That is a very dangerous road to go down.

well said sally !

62. the a&e charge nurse

[58] “Some people on this thread think that an episode where a police officer has suffered justifies another effort on unrequired violence” – please tell us who has made such a claim?

Remember this policeman hacked to death by a crowd?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Murder_of_Keith_Blakelock

Crowds can be unpredictable, tensions run high – mistakes can be made.

To repeat I do not condone the actions of this officer, and the freak death that arose from it, but trial by ‘Youtube’ is no substitute for due process, even allowing for the fact that the present system (for investigating the police) would benefit from an overhaul?

would benefit from an over haul….. interesting !!

I’m sure the family who have lost there dad will take comfort from that !

In some cases more than a baton is required and the police can be recipients as well as perpetrators of acts of violence – some of the people on this thread seem to think that policing is all so easy?

HOWEVER IN THIS CASE- WAS THE USE OF A BATTON ACTUALLY REQUIRED??

“Medical evidence” eh?

When Ian Tomlinson died the police rushed off to Freddy ‘Yes Officer’ Patel* for a quick post mortem, you can guess what Freddy found the cause of his death to be.

A second, independent post-mortem contradicted Patel’s ‘favourable to the police’ conclusion

And then we end up with a verdict like this delivered. It’s no wonder anyone with two brain cells to rub together gives a hollow laugh.

Look at the police behaviour on footage on that demonstration and defend it.

Sgt Delroy Smellie (crazy name, crazy guy) who batoned a small women carrying a vicious carton of orange juice was found ‘not guilty’ by magistrates because he was “acting in lawful self-defence”. If I did that to a woman I would be up on a charge of assault occasioning actual bodily harm and looking at jail time.

* “The first examination by Dr Freddy Patel - currently under investigation for alleged misconduct over four unrelated post-mortem examinations - found he died of natural causes linked to coronary artery disease.”

(from the BBC)

It’s simple

If you want a quick autopsy that admonishes all blame, you hire the worst possible doctor, he’ll give it to you in exchange for a bottle of whisky.

The CPS is unfit for purpose and has been for years. It is designed to protect the Police and Government at the cost of the innocent (or the guilty for that matter, it doesn’t matter as long as the long arm of the State is protected)

It is not a device to bring justice to the people, to protect the people, to promote peace amongst the people. It is a quango to justify and promote the political will of our masters.

Today is also the 5th anniversary of an innocent electrician murdered by a gang of armed London thugs. The police are not looking for suspects.

Stay safe out there. I have taught my children to avoid hi viz vests at all costs. They have the biggest guns and nothing to lose, including their pensions.

trial by ‘Youtube’ is no substitute for due process

True. But what happened here? The CPS decided not to bother. Hence trial by Youtube is all that’s available. It’s their fault, no-one else’s.

@ the a&e charge nurse

You are twisting yourself into contortions Harry Houdini would have been proud of in defending this cop and making yourself look like an idiot.

Sister a cop? Hmmmm….

And I bet you’ve never been nicked, because that even for rabid right wingers with a knee jerk reaction of defending the police they are often cleared of these illusions once they have been collared.

trial by ‘Youtube’ is no substitute for due process

since the police denied hitting him with a batton AND did not gibve medical treatment straight away due to being hit by bottles…. this was only ALTERED once videos of the event by witnesses were placed on places like ‘Youtube’

What i heard today is absolute blantant opinion of an extremely “Corrupt Legal System. If There is “ANYPERSON out there who knows the Tomlinson Family Please, Please ask them to contact me wmsweeney1943@hotmail.com. I have Criminal evidence that Mohamed Saeed Sulema Patel (Dr Freddy Patel) With the

The consipired help of Coroner for inner West London Dr Paul Knapman. The Metrpolitan Police turned a blind eye because they had caused a 23 year old victim of police beating they took him to hospital knowing he was severely Concussed they knew because they had done it.! What police told medics a pack of lies caused a misdiagnosis. leaving the innocent victim with “Irreversible Brain Damage.! This Negligently treated comatose patient was Murdered in his hospital bed.! WE HAVE THE PROOF Dr Patel Covered this Murder UP.! SWEENEY.

Say “I’m not a protester and I’d like to leave”.

Whoever posted this clearly didn’t read any of the many accounts from office and shop workers who got stuck in that kettle for several hours.

72. the a&e charge nurse

[69] isn’t there a difference between using video footage as part of a more comprehensive process, and viewing a few minutes of Youtube before deciding if somebody is guilty or not?

[68] I have stated repeatedly that the officer was at fault – you claim I am defending him, yet I was making a few observations about contextual factors that might have contributed to an error of judgement.

To recap the officer acted inappropriately – a man fell down and died from the sort of knock that must occur a hundred thousand times a week on a football or rugby pitch without resulting in any harm.

I have already said the complaints procedure (investigating allegations against the police) would benefit from a shake up.

In what way is that ‘right wing’?

ha ha you make me laugh you really really do …

The police office hit a man with his ham=nds in his pockets and his back to himposing No threat!!!!

Surely no matter what “video” is watched that shows the same scene show’s thst the officer has acted extremely inapproriately that on this occassion ended up with the individual to now be DEAD!!!

As for the process could do what a shake up…. sorry isn’t that a bit flippant ?? I think the ‘system’ needs to be held to account and actually look at the evidence and proscute as approrpiate.. i.e the police are there to uphold the law they are not the LAW!!

I if was to belt someone with a batton who had there back to me, walking away with there hands in there pocket I would be in a court and sentence to a custodial quicker than i could blink I dont see what the police should be above the law!!!

@72

“I have stated repeatedly that the officer was at fault – you claim I am defending him, yet I was making a few observations about contextual factors that might have contributed to an error of judgement.

“At fault”?- He killed a man.

“I was making a few observations about contextual factors that might have contributed to an error of judgement”.

Indeed, next time I’m up in court for police assault I will point out the contextual factors that might have contributed to an error of judgement by myself and look forward to being found not guilty.

It is quite clear this gang is running wild, completely out of control. These killings must be stopped, we cannot sit back and watch as are fellow citizens are murdered, beaten and shot , next they will be introducing gas chambers in line with the new cost cutting mentality. Previously known as the Gestapo or National Socialist, this gang is now known as the Met. They can be easily recognised by their silly blue gang colours and stupid impractical head dresses, perhaps they are trying to intimidate us by discussing themselves as a bunch of dick heads. Their cowardly nature normally keeps them together in large numbers rather similar to a pack of rabid dogs, but they can sometimes be found alone, in which case they have shown us how to eradicate this scourge. Their method seems quite effective. Take them from behind, when they are alone, preferably with hands in pockets, take a large stick or should I say baton and beat well, of course if this doesn’t work 7 shots to the head will often do the trick and will defiantly get you promoted

@ 60 Sally
Politicians aren’t supposed to control the police. They are supposed to be independant of government, accountable to their local police authority because we don’t want politicians exerting undue influence over policing. Whether it true or not is another matter but I would hesititate to suggest greater political control of the police.

Surely the point about this is that the whole matter will not now go to court? That is where this should have been examined and any blame attributed. The court may have found that it was an unfortunate accident, but thanks to obvious prevarication and delay we will never know. Justice has yet again been denied right in front of our eyes.

MURDER most foul!

here are nine rules to policing http://bit.ly/dx0yQP Explain how killing an innocent man serves any of them. Bastards.

“Politicians aren’t supposed to control the police. They are supposed to be independant of government, accountable to their local police authority”

We as a people allow ourselves to be policed. We do it by consent. That means that we give away some of our freedoms to a group of people who will do the policing for us. However, they work for us. We pay them through our taxes, and we do this through are elected politicians. (Both national and local.)

The politicians decide what powers the police have. How long they can hold someone, what force they can use, how much paper work there should be. That is political whether you like it or not. If the politicians don’t control the police no one does.

80. Charlieman

I suggest that the CPS declined to prosecute the police officer because he would have claimed crown immunity. He would argue that he was just doing his job and that his violence was normal for the situation.

If Nick Clegg or David Cameron are reading this thread, I urge them to abolish or review crown immunity. Please.

81. Charlieman

@78 Old Holborn

Thanks for that link. You failed to spot an important principle above the nine.

“Every police officer should be issued a badge number, to assure accountability for his actions.” I think that it is fair to reinterpret Robert Peel by requiring police officers to display that badge number at all times on duty.

82. Matt Munro

@ 80 “Crown Immunity” hasn’t existed for at least 20 years.

The first time I experienced ‘kettling’ was in 1974 just after I moved from Manchester to London in June 1974 a tRed Lion Square in a demo against the NF

It got very violent, in fact it surprised me because the violence by the cops was worse than I’d seen at any football match.

A student called Kevin Gately was killed by the cops by a blow to the head.

No one was ever charged with his murder.

plus ca change eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Gately

84. Charlieman

@82 Matt Munro

I wish that you were wrong. But you ain’t.

Scottish coppers are currently discussing the ethics of shooting needles into people and then delivering a few volts. Example: http://www.yell.com/solicitors/blog/taser-police-enjoy-crown-immunity/

Another request to Nick Clegg or David Cameron: restrict the use of tasers.

85. the a&e charge nurse

[74] “next time I’m up in court for police assault I will point out the contextual factors that might have contributed to an error of judgement by myself” – and that is something that you would perfectly entitled to do, personally I think it is a much better system than the youtube model proposed by some of the poster here.

The G20 protests certainly had form in London – only last year it was reported, “violence erupted during a tense stand off between demonstrators – many with covered faces – and police outside the Bank of England. One man, bleeding from the head, was repeatedly seen to apparently goad officers, who did not respond. At one point, a black-clad man in the crowd struck an officer with a long pole. The officer was pulled away by colleagues and required treatment at the scene”.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/financetopics/g20-summit/5089870/G20-protests-Rioters-loot-RBS-as-demonstrations-turn-violent.html

Wether you like it or not such incidents are likely to play on the minds of those policing the event, and there is a greater risk that less disciplined officers might resort to preemptive or retaliatory measures

86. Charlieman

Idiot, idiot.That’s me.

@84 My argument was that crown immunity exists.

excluding the fact that the P.C should be charged for assault, the link to policestate.uk doesn’t show police misinformation about the g20 protest on april the 1st, but does show a link to the climate camp, wheres the supposed misinformation about the police activicty on april the 1st

john @87: Here are some contemporaneous links elaborating on the police “campaign of misinformation”:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-police-assault-ian-tomlinson-g20

http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2009/04/426083.html

indymedia does claim the police denied contact with tomlinon before his deah saying protesters prevented them help hm on the floor, but indymedia doesn’t actally give proof of these claims that the police denied any contact with him

as for teh guardian they say the police denied contact with tomlinson but the guardian actually mean the IPCC said the police didn’t have cintact with tomlinson, the police in that guardian article didn’t deny they had contact with tomlinson, the polce didin’t say anything

90. It ain't a crime if you do it in uniform

It really is a mystery that so many people signed up to that Raul Moat tribute page.

91. Charlie 2

Practically every rugby match, judo, martial arts and boxing contest will involve physical contact far greater than that suffered by Mr Tomlinson. The fact that the authorities are unable to find the cause of death is mind boggling. The fact that the CPS took 16 months to come to a conclusion is unacceptable, especially as the dead man’s family can no longer bring a charge of common assault against the police.

Perhaps it is time to try an experiment; have no police on a demonstration and see what happens.

@ 85

Now you really are writing garbage.

Did you actually see the robocops lined up armoured from head to toe and armed to the teeth. And one got clobbered on the head you say?

Can’t have done much damage or the Daily Mail et al would have been running the story for days.

Another “bleeding from the head repeatedly goaded officers who did not respond”. That’s very big and brave of them, why do you think he was bleeding from the head? Possibly fell over eh?

Jesus H. Christ and I used to think you had some intelligence.

And you’ve never been nicked have you?

93. Menenzes' bullet riddled corpse

“Perhaps it is time to try an experiment; have no police on a demonstration and see what happens.”

Or perhaps try another experiment by charging policemen who murder members of the public. On CCTV.

It’s a crazy idea, I know, but who knows ? It so crazy it might just work.

94. the a&e charge nurse

[92] not being properly equipped can result in serious injury, or worse, as the officer recently shot by Raoul Moat in the face can tell you.

You mean a police officer didn’t die during the G20 demo in 2009 (when you cite the lack of Daily Fail stories) – well neither would a protestor pushed to ground (assuming there is no head injury) in 9,999 cases out of 10,000 cases.

Look I’m actually AGREEING with those who say the officer was guilty of assault although it was the CPS rather than the police themselves who are responsible for the technicality that prevented the officer from being charged (because the incident was over 6 months ago) – that stinks?

All I’m saying is that such incidents do not occur in a vacuum and in my view it is worth considering some of the surrounding circumstances that may or may not have influenced the ill-discipline that arose on the day.

The fact that the CPS took 16 months to come to a conclusion is unacceptable, especially as the dead man’s family can no longer bring a charge of common assault against the police.

Absolutely. It was a prima facie unlawful use of force.

IIUC the family (and anyone else) can prosecute another charge, including those that the CPS has decided not to prosecute.

All I’m saying is that such incidents do not occur in a vacuum and in my view it is worth considering some of the surrounding circumstances that may or may not have influenced the ill-discipline that arose on the day.

Forgive me but I’m having difficulty understanding your point.

The police have now taken the job of judge and jury all over the UK,
I know of one custody Sargent that has had complaints going back over the last six years for assaulting minors in custody and despite complaints to the local hq he gets away with.
Here is a link to the article with a video from the police cctv
http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/8279167.Cop_used_excessive_force_on_teen___video/?ref=mc

98. the a&e charge nurse

[96] “Forgive me but I’m having difficulty understanding your point” – have a look at Zimbardo’s ‘The Lucifer Effect’ – understanding how/why good people do bad things (focusing mainly on Abu Ghraib).
http://mitworld.mit.edu/video/459

Obviously individuals can be entirely culpable, but when groups involving 10’s of thousands, face off against each other, it is hardly surprising that a certain type of unhealthy dynamic emerges (on both sides) resulting in an us/them mindset, fears about ‘the hidden enemy’, or myths/beliefs in each respective camp regarding the intentions/actions of the other lot.

I think the bigger picture extends beyond the two minutes on youtube?

99. disgruntled

Yet another article yaddering on conflating TWO incidents.

Tomlinson had no baton used on him at the time he was pushed over.

Do not exaggerate something that is bad enough without it, not IF you want to maintain the moral high ground.

.

98)

the bigger picture may be more than a two minute video on you tube as you keep referring HOWEVER… where the video is on you tube or National News it does not detract from what it is or what it shows…

I man walking away from police with his hands in his pockets and back to the police, is attacked by a police man and is now dead!!!!

This police officer is now free to go about his life as they have taken so long to get a ‘not charges will be pressed’ verdict for something that hould have ended up going to court for a minimum of assult.

there is no denying there are good ones and bad ones out there HOWEVER the problem here is he made a split decision which was WRONG to assult a man who has ended up dead! the guy was not making any threatening advances , he was walking away hands in pockets therefore there was no force necessary to get him to move away as he was doing so anyway/ Therefore that police officer should stand in court and defend his actions as well would have to if we had done the same. There was no reason to use his baton at that time and ‘minimum force necessary’ was not applyied in this case. He shoudl stand trial in front of a judge and jury for what has happend and have to give justification for what he has done.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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    London Police not guilty says 'independent' #CPS
    RT @libcon: The scandal of no prosecution over Ian #Tomlinson's death http://bit.ly/9wWIO0

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    RT @libcon: The scandal of no prosecution over Ian Tomlinson's death http://bit.ly/9wWIO0

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    RT @libcon: The scandal of no prosecution over Ian Tomlinson's death http://bit.ly/9wWIO0

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    RT @andrewducker: How the police got away with murder over Ian Tomlinson's death. http://bit.ly/cW1dcD

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    "The scandal of no prosecution over Ian Tomlinson’s death" > where would Ian Tomlinson be now had he struck the PC? http://j.mp/bPhv4u

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    RT @libcon The scandal of no prosecution over Ian Tomlinson's death http://bit.ly/9wWIO0

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