Brutal Murder of Ian Tomlinson 51


The Guardian and the Observer have finally started to report some of the truth over the murder of Ian Tomlinson:

“A riot officer came up behind him and grabbed him. It wasn’t just pushing him – he’d rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable. It was the force of the impact. It was all from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton [when he was] on the floor. So it wasn’t just that the officer had pushed him – it became an assault. And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him. He was running and stumbling. He didn’t turn and confront the officer or anything like that.

Anna Branthwaite, 36, freelance photographer, south London”

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/06/g20-protest-police-assault

There is added poignancy in the fact that Mr Tomlinson wasn’t a demonstrator at all, just a local trying to ask the police to let him past their cordon. I had not heard the term “kettling” before the G20, but having twice suffered myself from the Metropolitan Police’s tactic of splitting demonstrations into groups, and then aggressively crushing demonstrators – and ordinary people who happened to be there, like Mr Tomlinson – into confined spaces, I was able to describe exactly what was going to happen before it happened.

“Each demonstration will be split up into several separated groups. Each group will be tightly corraled, penned in with barriers in an uncomfortable crush that feels threatening to those inside. Occasionally groups will be shuffled between pens. Most demonstrators will not be allowed to the destination point to limit the appearance of numbers at the rallies. Once it is over, people will be kept corralled for several hours, with no refreshment or (this is critical and no joke) toilet facilities. The tactic appears designed to create confrontation as people try to get out of penned areas to hear the speeches they came to hear, to escape the crush or just to find a loo. At the same time the argie-bargie thus deliberately sparked is confined to small numbers the police can contain.”

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2009/04/the_field_of_pe.html#comments

So this was no accident; it was the highly predictable result of deliberate over-aggressive policing that deprived Mr Tomlinson first of his right to go home after work, then of his life. Of course the chances of their ever being justice for Mr Tomlinson are nil, as long as the system is controlled by evil (and I use the word with care) men like Sir Michael Wright.

http://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2008/12/the_disgraceful.html

I maintain that there was something else very wrong with the policing on that day, in that peaceful demonstrators were – in scores of instances – subjected to the most vicious of attacks. Meanwhile tiny isolated groups of alleged “protestors” were allowed without hindrance to carry out acts of violence. The ever excellent Postman Patel has a picture that paints a thousand words.

http://postmanpatel.blogspot.com/2009/04/smash-capitalism-cameras-ready-roll.html

As does Theresa

http://comediehumaine.blogspot.com/2009/04/fourth-estate.html

While is it not al little strange that the police were unable to deploy anyone outside the Royal Bank of Scotland to prevent this massive crowd of, err, five people and 28 press photograpers from breaking the windows, but were able to pre-position a police photographer inside to video it?

https://farm4.static.flickr.com/3455/3404568155_1ec4776a64.jpg

It stinks.


51 thoughts on “Brutal Murder of Ian Tomlinson

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  • Stevie

    Thanks for raising the profile of this case Craig. It did appear very odd at the time that during the demonstrations the ‘vandals’ who were smashing buildings were surrounded by tens of television crews and photographers. Surely the one or two people filmed smashing the buildings could have been apprehended at the time. But no, it was filmed for the entertainment of the public. How sad, how very sad. I’d very much recommend people watching Charlie Brooker’s Newswipe (usually on BBC4 and available on the BBC iPlayer) which covers a number of the issues raised on this blog.

  • David McKelvie

    Actually, anticant, wasn’t most of the problem at Peterloo caused by the deployment of the regular 15th Hussars rather than the locally raised yeomanry?

    Doesn’t this imply a worrying possibility – locally raised units are reluctant to take extreme action against crowds that might contain mates and relatives, so bring in outsiders.

    Exit the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and enter the Royal Regiment of Scotland: or, worse, some European unit.

  • Jess

    Any credibility you might have disappears with calling this incident a “brutal murder”.

  • paul

    Lets see, IF this guy gets investigated, paid holiday during investigation, eventually found innocent of any “wrongdoing”? Am I right?

  • IAN CAMERON

    I was involved in many voluntary sector 1970’s / 1980’s justice campaigns and also did 8 years police accountabilty work in one of the London labour councils before Newt Labour came on stream when I very soon opted out rather than for reaction. Anyway my understanding was (tho I have forgotten some of the specifics) that police had specifically regulated against using dogs for public order operations – I have contacted Duncan Campbell at The Guardian and it would be very useful if he could clarify this issue too. We shall see. In my mind I am sure an anti dog regulation was brought in.

  • IAN CAMERON

    I was involved in many voluntary sector 1970’s / 1980’s justice campaigns and also did 8 years police accountabilty work in one of the London labour councils before Newt Labour came on stream when I very soon opted out rather than for reaction. Anyway my understanding was (tho I have forgotten some of the specifics) that police had specifically regulated against using dogs for public order operations – I have contacted Duncan Campbell at The Guardian and it would be very useful if he could clarify this issue too. We shall see. In my mind I am sure an anti dog regulation was brought in.

  • Joseph

    Ian: Picture 31 at the Boston Big Picture link in Paul Jakma’s comment above shows police alsatians in action, so their use for public order work must be continuing.

  • Jess

    What was it then?

    We don’t know if a bit of pushing from the police had anything to do with his heart attack as of yet, or if these late witnesses were even witnessing the right person. To declare it a Brutal Murder only adds to the impression this is being used as propaganda. This is not what his family want.

  • Craig

    As with the Sir Michael Wright example, I am afraid thanks to New Labour I have no faith at all in government employed pathologists, coroners or police complaints commissions. And I think you would be shocked how many people have woken up to the same view.

    The manipulation of a family in profound shock and grief is not difficult – as in the Kelly case. Not so easy when they are from another country, as in the De Menezes case.

  • Jaded

    Maybe some bigwigs thought that footage of a solitary RBS window being violently smashed might pacify some of the general public over the financial scandal. Furthermore, it could then be used as propaganda to clamp down on future dissent. One might also think the same of Goodwin’s windows. Just some thoughts…

  • kc

    Good updates Craig and I concur with many things you draw attention to; I’m not convinced by the conspiratorial take on the police photographer in the RBS building – frankly, looking at it suggests that it was taken after the event and the ‘window-smashers’ had moved on. Not pre-positioning then but certainly another example of the authorities passion for accumulating and gathering all manner of filmed evidence.

  • Craig

    kc

    I don’t think the photo gives evidence either way. It came with a claim that it was contemporaneous, but no photographic way of checking that out at the minute. Presumably other photos may emerge that make the timing plain.

  • jason

    “There is added poignancy in the fact that Mr Tomlinson wasn’t a demonstrator at all,”

    I take issue with that, actually. Whoever would have died in such a way, as is alleged, the death would have been of an innocent person and would have had just as much poignancy.

    I say that knowing full well the sentiment (an admirable one), but we have to be careful, experience has taught that if Mr Tomlinson ever so much as filched a loaf of bread, we’ll be seeing such evidence turn up in the newspapers very soon, in just the same way the police supplied Pictorial Bulsara Weirdness (weird=guilty) and hearsay to the tabloids or a pack of lies about Carlos de Menezes (including making him culpable by dint of his immigration status – a true Daily Mail gambit). The smokescreen of any past indiscretions must not be made available to apologists for the ‘rule of law’ (ie: impunity for the attack dogs of the powerful)

  • ken

    The truth of this will never be known. The BBC report: “Officers from the City of London Police will carry out the investigation on behalf of the watchdog.”

    I’m speechless. I can only think: “You couldn’t make it up.”

  • ken

    Further to my comment above, and Craig’s comment about family manipulation, he’s dead right. It may sound brutal, but so-called ‘Family liaison units’ will ‘butter-up’ his family and persuade them ‘not to make a fuss’, to ‘grieve quietly’.

    My son is a Met Police constable – he doesn’t say much, but I can read what’s happening from his silences.

  • IAN CAMERON

    @Joseph at April 6, 2009 12:50 PM

    Yes I am sure dogs are being used from what I had read but I have raised my point simply because my memory is that police regulations were brought in to stop their use and I presume they must have been rescinded – they ought NOT to be used and I wish the historical stuff could be revisited and adequately discussed – I am not able to do it or I would. I have heard no more from Duncan Campbell.

  • Chuck Unsworth

    Look, anything is possible. Remember tanks at Heathrow? News management is the name of the game. But I think that some ‘public servants’ are getting a little uneasy.

    A change of Government will lead to scores being settled, and the public is increasingly aware that these devious and manipulative politicians have, for years, been supported by equally devious and manipulative civil and public servants. It’s going to be interesting watching the despicable apparatchiks during the next few months.

    However, given the outcome of innumerable previous ‘investigations’ by such bodies as the IPCC it’s clear that no police officer will face disciplinary action, let alone a court, as a result of this death.

  • Strategist

    Surely the accusation of brutal blows to the head can be proved or disproved by the post mortem examination of the body. Are steps being taken to have an independent postmortem made, or have the official one witnessed/

  • Stephen

    Craig,

    Strategist is right. Aren’t post mortems made public? Shouldn’t we be able to see them?

    Do you know about this?

    best,

    Stephen

  • jason

    Re: post mortem

    There is a gloss

    “A post mortem examination carried out by a Home Office pathologist revealed Mr Tomlinson died of a heart attack.”

    &

    “… a City of London Police spokesman said Mr Tomlinson died of natural causes. He said: “He suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work.”

    A heart attack is a natural cause of death, so that statement, considered alone, is not a denial of anything, simply an attempt to end the discussion. However, where is mention of the head injury/ies that would be present if the eyewitness accounts are accurate?

    http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/UK-News/Ian-Tomlinson-Who-Died-From-Heart-Attack-In-G20-London-Protests-Was-Pushed-Back-By-Police-Earlier/Article/200904115256879?f=rss

  • Jess

    Turns out he was drunk, by the way, according to the autopsy, and there is no CCTV footage of him getting beaten or pushed by anybody. It’s this one witness’ word against the tonns of witnesses who saw nothing, and there is no way to assess at this stage whether she has the right person in mind, or if this had anything to do with his heart attack. No bruises or marks were found on the body.

  • Stephen

    Jess,

    How do you know no bruise marks were found on the body? Are you simply saying that the reports of the post mortem do not mention bruises, or do you have a more detailed access to the post mortem report? It’s not clear that any journalist has actually seen it. I’ve emailed Paul Lewis twice on this question and despite replying he refuses to answer this question. Have you actually seen a report that specifically states that the post mortem mentioned nothing about bruises?

    Stephen

  • Craig

    There are degrees of drunk – none of which cause heart attacks.

    That reminds me of the line the government deployed at the inquest, that Jean Charles De Menezes was shot in the head because at some time in the past 72 hours he may have taken cocaine.

    As for the lack of CCTV footage, again you will recall that miraculously all the CCTV cameras had stopped working in the De Menezes case.

    Stephen

    Thanks for that valuable link to evidence that the police photographers were indeed pre-positioned at RBS

  • Craig

    It is interesting to note just how similar was the official reaction to Tomlinson’s death to that of 15 year old Alexis Grigoropoulos, shot by police in Athens last December. In both cases the police gave out an account that was almost entirely at odds with eye witness accounts and later evidence. Yet much of the mainstream media choose to accept the official accounts at face value even though those present told a different story.

    Also in both cases video footage came out that quickly disproved the version given by officers involved.

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