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G20 protester death was ‘manslaughter’

Reading the Twitterati live from the G20 Protest on April 1st, it ended with a peaceful day.

Some said the police were too assertive, but there was not the mass riot everyone predicted and so the government and police thought it was triumph of control over anarchy.

Possibly.

However, since the events unfurled, there have been several obvious examples of police over-reacting to the crowd, as Twittered on the day.  It is especially worth reading from 18:45 on this blog entry, when police start charging the crowd.

In the worst of these incidents Ian Tomlinson, a newspaper-seller, is pushed hard from behind to the ground by one of the police officers.

This was caught on camera and acquired by the Guardian newspaper, now available online:

In the video it is clear that Ian Tomlinson is not causing any issue but, as part of an uncontrollable crowd who need intimidating, the officer concerned was just showing a little force to make it clear they meant business.

Shortly after the incident, Mr. Tomlinson died.

It was thought to be a heart attack.

It was not.

Today, the BBC reports it was an abdominal haemorrhage.

Mr. Tomlinson's family are now very likely to take the officer concerned to court for manslaughter.

Meanwhile, in the centre of the City is this epitaph to the incident:

DSC00351

I saw this yesterday as I walked past Bank tube.

What is the world becoming when it appears that our police are killers, our bankers are swindlers and our politicians are corrupt?

Of course, I exaggerate …

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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  • Robert L.

    One fundamental human right, the right to protest peacefully, has been taken away from us in the last years, and nobody seems to notice or to care. What I mean is that peaceful and honest citizens do not dare to protest anymore in the streets, because they will be assaulted by the police, and so, in fact, the right to protest is gone.

  • Andy S

    I agree the offcier involved in this incident should be dealt with robustly. However, having experienced having to run down a street away from a bunch of so called “activists”, having the windows broken of the office i was working in, and groups of “protesters” running amok and scaring the living daylights out of joe public then please tell me where the police should draw the line. Also how many of people would stand there taking abuse (and very agressive abuse), hour after hour and not react in some form. You need to remember that Tv / newspapers etc. show the “incident”, not what led up to it. For example the woman that is complaining, had shouted abuse at this particular officer for a while, the line of police had 2 sets of different protesters in front / behind them, she was told a number of times to back off and yet she still should abuse and swore (I understand that is why you won’t hear what she said on the news). Oh and isn’t it funny that someone just happend to be filming her when the police officer hit her? Convenient isn’t it…..
    You will also only ever hear the IPPC decisions against the police, not the hundreds that will be dismissed out of hand. Remember that previous g8 / g20 meetings have been marred by violence. There is a horrid line – if more “liberal” attitudes had been taken and there had been a lot of damage then the police would have been blamed for that as well.
    I support the right to protest and have taken part myself in demonstrations that have been much bigger than this, with mutliple groups taking part and they have passed off with no problems, even though similar police tactics were used.
    I know this is a contrevsial view but thereare always 2 sides to every story, and like I said at the beggining, I think the office who hit Ian Tomlinson should be dealt with harshly as unlike the woman mentioned earlier, it was obvious he was just walking down the street.

  • Andy S

    I agree the offcier involved in this incident should be dealt with robustly. However, having experienced having to run down a street away from a bunch of so called “activists”, having the windows broken of the office i was working in, and groups of “protesters” running amok and scaring the living daylights out of joe public then please tell me where the police should draw the line. Also how many of people would stand there taking abuse (and very agressive abuse), hour after hour and not react in some form. You need to remember that Tv / newspapers etc. show the “incident”, not what led up to it. For example the woman that is complaining, had shouted abuse at this particular officer for a while, the line of police had 2 sets of different protesters in front / behind them, she was told a number of times to back off and yet she still should abuse and swore (I understand that is why you won’t hear what she said on the news). Oh and isn’t it funny that someone just happend to be filming her when the police officer hit her? Convenient isn’t it…..
    You will also only ever hear the IPPC decisions against the police, not the hundreds that will be dismissed out of hand. Remember that previous g8 / g20 meetings have been marred by violence. There is a horrid line – if more “liberal” attitudes had been taken and there had been a lot of damage then the police would have been blamed for that as well.
    I support the right to protest and have taken part myself in demonstrations that have been much bigger than this, with mutliple groups taking part and they have passed off with no problems, even though similar police tactics were used.
    I know this is a contrevsial view but thereare always 2 sides to every story, and like I said at the beggining, I think the office who hit Ian Tomlinson should be dealt with harshly as unlike the woman mentioned earlier, it was obvious he was just walking down the street.

  • Chris Skinner

    @Robert
    The right to protest still exists, as long as you protest in such a way that you’re not right ‘in the face’ of the police.
    @Andy
    Totally agree with you to be honest. On the one hand, the police’s use of ‘kettling’ techniques meant zero riots and trouble compared to what was anticipated. On the other, the death of Ian Tomlinson was a big mistake.
    To be honest, I think they got the line near right, as the woman who is now in the news is bleating about being struck by a policeman when, as you point out, she was really in his face and probably had been shouting at him for a period beforehand.
    Nevertheless, it is still a blight on our nation when you read figures, as I did the other day, that state around a growing percentage of our police force have some form of record of drug use or violence in their past.
    By way of example:
    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/170–police-officers-39have.5063445.jp
    Chris

  • Chris Skinner

    @Robert
    The right to protest still exists, as long as you protest in such a way that you’re not right ‘in the face’ of the police.
    @Andy
    Totally agree with you to be honest. On the one hand, the police’s use of ‘kettling’ techniques meant zero riots and trouble compared to what was anticipated. On the other, the death of Ian Tomlinson was a big mistake.
    To be honest, I think they got the line near right, as the woman who is now in the news is bleating about being struck by a policeman when, as you point out, she was really in his face and probably had been shouting at him for a period beforehand.
    Nevertheless, it is still a blight on our nation when you read figures, as I did the other day, that state around a growing percentage of our police force have some form of record of drug use or violence in their past.
    By way of example:
    http://news.scotsman.com/politics/170–police-officers-39have.5063445.jp
    Chris