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A law unto themselves

The decision not to bring charges in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson following his beating by the police at the G20 demonstration on April 1, 2009 is truly shocking. But it should not be surprising.

There will be many who agree with the family's suspicion that there was a co-ordinated effort to conceal events surrounding Tomlinson's death. Others are asking whether there’s been a state conspiracy to protect the Met’s notorious Territorial Support Group (TSG).

According to The Guardian, the Independent Police Complaints Commission concluded there was sufficient evidence to charge the officer involved with manslaughter, and told Tomlinson's family so.

PC Simon Harwood, who is shown on video footage assaulting Tomlinson, is a member of the TSG. He was investigated twice over his alleged aggressive behaviour before joining the TSG, which is the Met’s mobile riot squad. Just after the G20, it was revealed that a third of the unit’s officers had been investigated for misconduct in the previous 12 months.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) announcement of the main reason given for the long-delayed decision not to prosecute was the “irreconcilable conflict between Dr Patel on the one hand and the other experts on the other as to the cause of death”.

Patel is under investigation by the General Medical Council (GMC). As a Home Office registered forensic pathologist he performed autopsies in a number of contentious cases including some involving deaths in police custody, before he was suspended.

Dr Freddy Patel was the first of three pathologists who carried out post mortems, and he concluded that Tomlinson died of a heart attack. But he failed to keep even a sample of the key evidence – 3 litres of fluid found in Tomlinson’s abdomen.

Can it be a coincidence that the CPS decision was made public on the very day that the second pathologist, Dr Nat Cary, was giving evidence to the GMC, before any conclusion could be drawn about Patel’s competence? Or are their other forces at work in the background?

Cary said his report contained clear evidence that Tomlinson suffered injuries sufficient to support an actual bodily harm charge. The CPS dismissed the injuries as "relatively minor" and thus not enough to support a charge.

Speaking for the first time about the case, Cary said yesterday: "I'm quite happy to challenge that. The injuries were not relatively minor. He sustained quite a large area of bruising. Such injuries are consistent with a baton strike, which could amount to ABH. It's extraordinary. If that's not ABH I would like to know what is."

That the announcement coincided with the anniversary of the police killing – rather execution – of Jean Paul de Menezes in 2005 could be considered cruelly provocative. Apparently the CPS lawyer who made the decision was the same one who decided no officer should face charges over Menezes.

Deborah Coles of the Inquest charity said:

The eyes of the world will be looking on with incredulity as yet again a police officer is not facing any criminal charges after what is one of the most clear-cut and graphic examples of police violence that has led to death. This decision is a shameful indictment of the way police criminality is investigated.

Following Tomlinson’s death at the G20 summit it emerged that the police were under orders to deal harshly with the protestors, and there was a flurry of concern and promises to soften their tactics. Don’t count on it. The state is gearing up to deal with the mounting opposition to the gung-ho slash and burn tactics being pursued by the Cameron-Clegg regime.

The Coalition can’t tolerate anything that might stand in its way as it attempts to rebuild the profit system through the destruction of jobs, pensions, services and living standards. “Tough decisions” will require brutal action, and neither they nor the police will be held accountable. Both are a law unto themselves.

Gerry Gold
23 July 2010

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Tim says:

I think we should applaud the recent decision to subject PC Simon Harwood to the police internal disciplinary procedure following the decision of the DPP not to bring criminal charges. Although I do feel that the matter should be treated as gross misconduct rather than ordinary misconduct. I think the killing of members of the public by policemen warrants a stiffer sanction than an oral or written warning, which is what PC Harwood is likely to receive following the conclusion of the disciplinary proceedings.


Ray says:

Why in their statement on the non-prosecution of PC Simon Harwood do they (CPS) refer to him as Officer (A) - when the whole world knows his name at that time. Why do they retain 'first call' medics for potentially criminal cases like Dr. Freddy Patel, who's previous history would compromise scientific scrutiny, when used?


John McDonnell MP says:

Just to let you know that I have called for a public inquiry into this. I met Ian's family when I attended and spoke at the commemoration ceremony on the anniversary of Ian's death. I was on the march in Southall after Blair Peach was killed in the neighbouring constituency of Southall. This is history repeating itself once again and cannot go unchallenged.


Radfax says:

CPS decide that Ian Tomlinson's death at the G20 protests was an unlawful killing, but no prosecution will follow, why not? Where is the accountability, the culpability, responsibility and law?

Who are these people breaking protocol? How can this be? Why didn't the other police officers who were present arrest their colleague for assaulting Ian Tomlinson?

Where is the law?
Where is the justice
Where are people rights?
Where is the truth
Who do they think they are kidding?

They steal the money you earn
They tell you what to do
They kill people in your name
They remove your voice from their ears
They keep trying to chain you
Shackle your will
Keep you so busy spinning their will?
So how do you feel?
Do they divide and rule you
Deride and fool you

What about the peoples rights
Why do the police continue to defend and uphold unjust laws?


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