Video reveals Police involvement in G20 death

In a turn of events that is the dream of every newspaper editor, The Guardian has obtained a short video that shows a Police officer attacking a passer by minutes before he dies during London's G20 protests.

City of London’s newsagent Ian Tomlinson was walking home from work on Wednesday, April 1, when he found himself caught between riot Police and demonstrators near the Bank of England. After collapsing on the ground — and allegedly being succored by Police medics despite being “pelted with missiles believed to include bottles as they tried to save his life” as reported by Sky News — Tomlinson stumbled away and died of a heart attack soon after.

The incriminating footage is part of a dossier that The Guardian has put together and presented to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which also includes a collection of testimonies from witnesses. According to many commentators — see here, here, and here — the episode is only the last dramatic testimony of the way Police forces in the UK have recently been dealing with demonstrations trying to challenge estranged political and financial classes*.

Early Police statements did not acknowledge any misbehaviours committed by officers on the ground during the clashes, and, as the Sky News example mentioned above, mainstream media were quick to pick up the down-with-these-noglobal-rioters line. The worst of all was The Evening Standard**, which carried a (now) unfortunate double-page spread with a rather dramatic — but completely off the track — headline.

Fortunately, an amended article is now online here, and the ES actually carried this article on today’s edition.

Also, IPCC Commissioner for London, Deborah Glass, admitted that “witnesses” have reported Police involvement in the incident. “It is important that we are able to establish whether that contact had anything to do with [Ian Tomlinson’s] death," she said.

*See also what happened at the Nato Summit held in Strasbourg, France on April 4 as reported by Current.
**London’s widest-distributed daily newspaper has recently been sold by its historical owner, Daily Mail & General Trust PLC, to Russian tycoon Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB spy. Strange as it seems it could be a much-needed boost to liberal journalism in the British capital — see here for details.


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