I’ve written before about the way in which officers in the Metropolitan Police have killed with impunity and then had their actions covered up by senior colleagues. But this isn’t Jean Charles DeMenezes – his name was Ian Tomlinson. And video has now emerged of the unprovoked and unwarranted attack by riot police on this man, who was merely passing through the G20 protests and not even looking at them. Minutes after the attack he collapsed and died of a heart attack, after being trapped in a police ‘kettle’. You watch the video and you tell me what you think led to his death. Bear in mind too the disinformation the Met spread immediately after his death. Shades of DeMenezes? If you think the brutal, multiple assault caused his death, then you can only conclude that Ian Tomlinson was murdered by the Metropolitan Police.
The footage is below. Let me know what you think of what you see and what should happen as a result.
The two lessons must be that, as always, we should never assume that the first official version of a death in suspicious circumstances is accurate. The second lesson must be that the police have now to review their tactics for future demonstrations.
A man with a weak heart died. Was he prevented from leaving a scene of mayhem, of police, mounted and in riot gear, of barking dogs and bonfires? We were meant to recall the G20 summit as the start of a new world order. It may now turn out to be a rather less glorious view of the mechanics of law and order.