G20 police officer implicated in death will not be charged

A riot squad officer filmed knocking Ian Tomlinson to the ground during the G20 protests will not be prosecuted over his death.

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has decided that there is insufficient evidence to charge the police officer who was seen pushing a newspaper seller, who may not even have been a protester, at the G20 in London who died minutes later.

Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said that after a thorough and careful review of the evidence, the CPS has decided that there is no realistic prospects of a conviction against the police officer in question for any offense arising from the matter investigated and that no charges should be brought against him.

The death of Mr Tomlinson, 47, became global news after amateur video evidence emerged that challenged the original official version of events.

Police told the newspaper seller's widow and nine children he died of a heart attack after being caught up in crowded streets around the protests.

But footage later showed Mr Tomlinson being struck from behind by a member of the Metropolitan Police's controversial territorial support group.

Mr Tomlinson was hit by a baton and shoved to the ground by an officer wearing protective clothing. He may also have been bitten by a police dog.

He was found several minutes later after staggering about 100 metres into Cornhill, near St Michael's Alley, where he collapsed on the ground.

Once again this shows that they can do as they like, in the same way that the majority, it would appear, had their FINs removed, that is to say their identification numbers, thus making it impossible to report them for misconduct directly identifying them via those numbers.

British police officer have to wear their FIN, the force identification number, at all times and removal is not permitted. However, as I saw for myself on that day in London, hundreds of officers had no FIN displayed on their uniforms and officers were overheard bragging that they were going to give it to the protesters.

One has to wonder what ever happened to the free and democratic country, that once bastion of liberty in Europe, the United Kingdom? Legitimate protests are now policed like riots and people are treated as terrorists if they participate is environmental protests and such, and even children are subjected to strip searches by officers of ordinary police and officers of the special police units that now seem to be in charge of policing power stations, for instance.

The latter units seem to be nothing more than thugs in uniforms who are even, routinely, armed to their teeth and who love to brandish those weapons about.

To paraphrase Heine who spoke of Germany and even that in a different context one could say that “Think I of Britain in the night I am of sleep bereft” for it is becoming a rather worrying situation the way that people can now become terrorists, in the eyes of the police, just for protesting for the environment and also for taking photographs in certain places and at events.

What did we allow to happen here?

© 2010