Ian Tomlinson, struck and pushed from behind by a police officer with a baton, and according to witnesses, previously pushed hard to the ground, beaten, hauled to his feet and pushed along, died a short while later of a heart attack. The officer(s) who did this need to be brought to trial.
I walk round the Bank every day. In the days leading up to the G20 protests, I talked to people when I got the chance – workers in the station, shopkeepers, people on the train. There was no sense that the protest had anything to do with change for the better. Troublemakers, was the consensus. A complete failure to connect.
The police were jumpy about militants like these, pathetic as they seem in retrospect. But those officers in the Guardian video – they looked relaxed and, after Ian Tomlinson hit the ground, nonchalant to the point of sadism. Something went very badly wrong with that squad. And does anybody seriously doubt that it was the violence that caused Ian Tomlinson’s racing adrenaline-infused heart to bust at that time?
Ian Tomlinson may have died for the square root of fuck all, but because we do not live in a police state he won’t have died in vain. Nobody’s going to forget about this in a hurry and if there is any justice the Independent Police Complaints Commission will also get the scrutiny it deserves.