Unlawful Death, Ian Tomlinson Police video Part II

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neilrr

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Some of you may remember a long & sometimes heated discussion from a just over 2 years ago when Ian Tomlinson's death was fresh in the news - http://www.mbclub.co.uk/forums/ot-off-topic-forums/67507-ian-tomlinson-police-video.html .

It's interesting to look back at that thread now after today's ruling he was unlawfully killed.

Must admit I'm surprised. Even though I thought his actions deplorable I expected the policeman to be exonerated. What happens next?
 

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I believe , but stand to be corrected , that if the Crown declines to prosecute , the family can opt to take a private prosecution.
 

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The actions of the officer were uncalled for, he posed no threat and wasn't being disruptive. I do however appreciate that tensions run high and the police have an unenviable job in protest situations.
 
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neilrr

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I saw some film on the news tonight that I hadn't seen before. It showed the police office in the Tomlinson incident involved in several other heavy handed dealings with people on that same day.

Looks like he went into Rambo mode for the day. He's gonna regret it I'm afraid.
 

verytalldave

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Easy to be critical of any situation with the benefit of hindsight. You never know the full story from a few seconds of video.
The decision will make policing riot type situations much more difficult and the police will have to adopt a much more softly-softly approach to avoid a potential repetition.
 

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Riot type situations? Do you mean old dossers walking away with their hands in their pockets and whistling jaunty tunes? I would like to see the copper prosecuted.

Disabled people should not be in fear of death by police brutality when attending a peaceful protest. Ian Tomlinson could have been any older person. As the police cannot know what sort of physical condition a member of the public is in before knocking them to the ground it makes sense to me that they choose not to.
 

verytalldave

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I am not passing an opinion as to whether the policeman was wrong or right to behave in way he did - or whether the courts decision was wrong or right.
All I am saying is that with hindsight - and time - its easier to make a better informed opinion.
 
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neilrr

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Easy to be critical of any situation with the benefit of hindsight. You never know the full story from a few seconds of video.
The decision will make policing riot type situations much more difficult and the police will have to adopt a much more softly-softly approach to avoid a potential repetition.
If you read the thread from 2 years ago mentioned in the first post you will see that some posters were critical of the situation without the benefit of hindsight.
 

verytalldave

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Of course. When I talk of hindsight, I don't mean the 2 year interim period, but seconds, minutes or maybe hours after the event.
How many times have you done something on instinctive impulse - and regretted it later?
I don't know about you, but its happened to me many, many times.
However I do reiterate, this is not an excuse for the policeman's actions and he should have been more restrained. Its what they are taught.
I shall say no more on the subject.
 

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Perhaps the first thing to say is that we would not be having this discussion except for the fact a tourist just happened to capture the incident on video. :eek:

The second is that the police officer involved had already thrown a BBC cameraman to the ground minutes before, so his assault on TOMLINSON was not a one off. :doh: Ian Tomlinson inquest: PC Simon Harwood pulls BBC cameraman to the ground | UK news | guardian.co.uk

The third is that Tomlinson was an alcoholic for much of his life- a condition which causes gross changes to the circulatory system and liver- this would have predisposed him to major internal bleeding in the event of relatively minor assault.:eek:

Fourth, in the events that followed my faith in human nature was restored slightly with the actions of Lucy Apps [ a protester AND third year medical student] who tried to help the dying man before being "moved on" by the police. Well done Lucy for showing compassion in a chaotic situation :thumb:[YOUTUBE]NPqLf26arFU[/YOUTUBE]

Fifth having re-read my post on the original thread I don't think my position has changed in hindsight - phew! ;)
 

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While I do acknowledge that heat of the moment situations can and do get out of hand occasionally, I cannot help but wonder what possible threat is inherent in a person walking away from the scene (with his hands in his pockets) that it requires an officer of the law to assault that person from behind.

I rely on professionals in all walks of life to act professionally. On its face (and the video clip of the incident) it appears to be disproportionate, unmitigated thuggery which was committed by a police officer acting on his own initiative.

I rely on the police to do a good job of work, no matter how trying the circumstances and they have a difficult job which I would not want to do. I don't believe this should extend the right to the police (and by extension the individual police officers) that they should be permitted to lose their self-control, whatever the perceived provocation.

I have often been the subject of a gratuitous and violent attack in my workplace and I am not permitted to retaliate (under pain of professional censure, dismissal and prosecution for committing a crime) under any circumstances. I would hope and expect that the police are subject to similar constraints.
 

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One thing that we do know is that the turd-in-a-uniform who carried out the assault had plenty of "previous" and was only back in the Met due to their vetting failures:

G20 riots: Policeman who struck Ian Tomlinson faced two previous aggression inquiries - Telegraph
I think that the previous history of the police officer is irrelevant when looking at the facts and determining what actually happened to Mr Tomlinson. In the event of a criminal trial and a guilty verdict leading to a conviction for manslaughter, the previous history would possibly serve to illuminate the character of the police officer but that is about all... although it may have an effect on any sentence which could be handed down. It would not be just to prejudice any future potential legal proceedings on the basis of a person's past history... we are all supposed to be innocent until proven guilty by trial.

I am not a lawyer.
 
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Scott_F

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I think that the previous history of the police officer is irrelevant when looking at the facts and determining what actually happened to Mr Tomlinson. In the event of a criminal trial and a guilty verdict leading to a conviction for manslaughter, the previous history would possibly serve to illuminate the character of the police officer but that is about all... although it may have an effect on any sentence which could be handed down. It would not be just to prejudice any future potential legal proceedings on the basis of a person's past history... we are all supposed to be innocent until proven guilty by trial.

I am not a lawyer.

I think that his history is highly relevant.

Had he not been allowed to walk away from earlier investigations into his conduct and had the Met vetted him properly when he re-applied then he never would have been a serving officer on the day he carried out the attack on Ian Tomlinson.
 

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Hadn't the officer in question removed the ID numbers from his uniform? Justice is impossible if the Police aren't trustworthy.
 

jepho

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I think that his history is highly relevant.

Had he not been allowed to walk away from earlier investigations into his conduct and had the Met vetted him properly when he re-applied then he never would have been a serving officer on the day he carried out the attack on Ian Tomlinson.
Of course it is but history cannot be allowed to prejudice a trial because the case will be thrown out and justice will never be served. Only facts are permitted to be examined in a trial. Our feelings are not supposed to be included, else the trial is biased before the start.

The situation has to be dealt with as it was on the ground that day... not as we believed it ought to have been.
 
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manalishi

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It did seem all rather odd as he was not involved in the protest
That's another downside of kettling. It catches up bystanders as well as demonstrators, treats them the same and - in this case - the atttitude of Iam Tomlinson (pi55ed or just pi55ed-off, doesn't matter) gets treated as a threat. Plod - whether out for aggro or not - over-reacted. And got caught.

It seems to me that in some quarters of the police force, the anticipation of violence at a demo creates a 'looking for aggro' mindset. That's as dangerous to public order as the loony anarchists who try to hijack every demo these days.

On the subject of innocent bystanders: About 10yrs ago, I was freelancing in London and I left work early to avoid protestors. I got home OK, no fuss. A colleague was less lucky - he tried to cycle across the Thames to go home. The bridge was blocked by police and he cycled up to ask if he could get past to go home. He looked like most freelance journalists - casual/scruffy. After he tried to ask - maybe raising his voice and being angry - Plod won the argument by smashing the light off the front of his bike. :confused: Which is nothing in the scheme of things, but just another single example of Joe Public starting to wonder whose side Plod is on.
 
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