Thursday, 9 April 2009

G20 policeman should be charged

I know I'm coming a bit late to write about the death of Ian Tomlinson at the hands of the Met Police, but now that I've seen the video footage, I'm a bit shocked.

Basically, from the video, you see a police office assault a man walking down the street. The man later died from a heart attack - presumably if not caused then at the very least not helped by an assault from a policemen.

I understand that policing riots is difficult and that the police do a difficult job at these events. I understand it is difficult to identify potential troublemakers from those there to protest peacefully (or even those simply caught in the wrong place trying to walk home). But there is simply no excuse for a vicious attack on an innocent civillian who is not only not protesting about anything, he's walking AWAY from the police line.

What makes this situation worse for the Met is the suggestion that the officer in question removed his badge number and covered his face in the knowledge that what he was about to do was unacceptable. But he still did it anyway.

The officer in question should be charged, no question. Despite wearing a policeman's uniform his actions were not those of someone trying to keep the peace. At the very least, an assault charge should be coming his way, though (not being an expert in law) a manslaughter charge is probably not out of the question.

Just as with the Jean Charles de Menezes case, the Met police acted rashly and did something in the heat of the moment. But that does not detract from the fact that one of their own caused the death of a member of the public. And that has consequences which - whether the Met wants us to know or not - will become public, further damaging the reputation of the police in London.


spider8 16 April 2009 at 02:39  

I agree, the policeman should be charged, so too should the one who is seen in another video slapping / backhanding a woman in the face. Any member of the public would be charged. I hope they both get what they deserve, the officer who pushed the man to the ground actually looked to me as if he hit him on the back or neck before he fell, if this was anyone else i'm sure they would be charged with causing his death by their actions which i believe is called culpable homicide. There are no shortage of reliable witnesses IE all the other officers present, let's watch them close ranks now and spin a web of lies to protect their own. No doubt suspended on full pay pending a hearing. I hope for the mans family the so called officers of the law do the right thing.

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