Tuesday, April 07, 2009

IPCC to investigate G20 protest death

The Metropolitan Police will be once again attempting to defend their actions and an apparent tissue of lies after footage released tonight showed police officers pushing a man to the floor who later died of a heart attack. Ian Tomlinson had been returning from work as a newspaper vendor outside Monument station on the day of the G20 protests when he was violently pushed to the floor. Protesters at the scene attended to the man and he walked away dazed. He collapsed moments later and died of a heart attack despite a swift response from police paramedics.

Various reports emerged from the police that evening. In the Gold control room there were suggestions the man had been a vagrant or homeless, and that he had been drinking. It was also widely circulated that Mr Tomlinson had taken part in the protests.

His death was breaking news at around 10 pm on Wednesday night on both Sky News and the BBC. Both channels quoted the Metropolitan Police saying that a man had died after “collapsing in the street”. Police later said they had at no point made contact with the man. Though some of the officers may not have known the man pushed to the ground was to be the man who died.

Pictures published later however brought forward many witnesses after they recognised the man in the picture and have reported the earlier incident to the IPCC [Independent Police Complaints Commission].

Yesterday the Guardian ran a story in which they suggested that Ian Tomlinson had been assaulted. Photographer Anna Branthwaite told the paper, "I can remember seeing Ian Tomlinson. He was rushed from behind by a riot officer with a helmet and shield two or three minutes before he collapsed." Branthwaite, an experienced press photographer, has made a statement to the IPCC as have several others. A female protester, who did not want to be named but has given her testimony to the IPCC, said she saw a man she later recognised as Tomlinson being pushed aggressively from behind by officers. "I saw a man violently propelled forward, as though he'd been flung by the arm, and fall forward on his head. He hit the top front area of his head on the pavement. I noticed his fall particularly because it struck me as a horrifically forceful push by a policeman and an especially hard fall; it made me wince."

On BBC Radio 4’ PM programme Tomlinson’s son Paul King called for witnesses to come forward so the family could learn the truth behind his fathers death. He said the family was “devastated” by Ian’s death and described him as a “lovely father”. The Guardian article and radio report has now brought further eyewitness reports and video evidence which not only refute police claims but may bring possible charges if the IPCC find that the apparent assault on Mr Tomlinson resulted in his subsequent heart attack [Sky News / BBC / Guardian]

1 comment:

Prinya said...
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