The police officer filmed pushing Ian Tomlinson to the ground during the G20 protests is to face an internal misconduct hearing. Mr Tomlinson died after inadvertently being caught up in the demonstrations in London in 2009.
The English procurator fiscal, known as the CPS, decided not to press charges against Simon Harwood, the police officer who pushed him to the ground, precipitating his death.
Instead he will face a disciplinary hearing charge for gross misconduct. If he is found guilty he could be sacked.
Deborah Glass, the IPCC deputy has directed that the hearing be held in public because of the gravity and exceptional circumstances of the case. The incident was caught on video which showed Mr Tomlinson being struck with a police baton and pushed to the ground. (Didn’t they make it illegal to photograph of video police officers around that time?)
The guy wasn’t even involved in the demonstration. He was walking home from work.
The Allegations against Harwood are that:
a) he struck Mr Tomlinson on his left thigh with his baton;
b) he pushed Mr Tomlinson so he fell to the ground;
c) such dangerous actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the death of Mr Tomlinson;
d) the use of force was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances.
I have never understood why he didn’t face charges of murder, apart from the very obvious reason that he is one of “us” and Mr Tomlinson was one of “them”. But the official reason was that there was "sharp disagreement between the medical experts" about what caused of death, after 3 post mortems.
Personally I would have thought that being hit with a baton and pushed to the ground a few moments before you died would have had a pretty strong connexion to it!
You would think too, that given the importance of this case, and the interest that was shown across not just England, but the world that the Home office would have been able to provide a pathologist that wasn’t dodgy. But no, with their usual level of incompetence they put up Fred Patel to do the post mortum. He found that the man had died of coronary artery disease.
Strangely (or not so strangely) he missed the massive internal bleeding as the result of a being hit with a blunt instrument along with cirrhosis of the liver. I wonder where he trained.
He must be really thick. Even if he was a stooge set up by the home office to protect one of their own, he might have noticed that Mr Tomlinson had cirrhosis of his liver.
A third PM agreed with the second one.
The hearing will be presided over by two senior police officers from Harwood’s own force (that’s fair then), and an independent member of the public selected from a list appointed by the Metropolitan Police Authority. (It just gets fairer and fairer)!!!.
So, am I dim, or is being a London police officer enough to save you from being charged with murder or manslaughter if you beat an innocent bystander to death?
Pics: (1) Ian Tomlinson going about his business of walking home after work, a concept most of us can understand having done it; (2) Ian Tomlinson being helped to his feet having been beaten by PC Harwood; (3) The aforementioned PC Harwood in civvies, and fortunate not to meet a policeman in a bad mood an d in possession of a truncheon; (4)Protesters (yes I know, the government doesn’t like them, nor, it appears do the police), who think, as I do, that although police may find themselves in special circumstances relating to their work, they do not necessarily have the right to beat innocent men to death in the street, when all they wanted to do was go home for their dinner.