Saturday, April 18, 2009

Justice for Tomlinson

HUNDREDS of protesters marched through central London last Saturday to demand a full inquiry and justice after the death of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 demonstrations on 1st April.
Tomlinson was on his way home from work as a newspaper seller when he found police cordons near the Bank of England – aimed to G20 protesters penned in – were blocking his way to the hostel where he lived.
He was found collapsed on the street and died of a heart attack. Initially police reported that he was one of the demonstrators and that he had had no contact with the police.
His family appealed for witnesses and many came forward, including one who had taken video footage of a police officers striking Tomlinson from behind and pushing him forcefully to the ground.
Tomlinson had been walking away from the police cordon with his hands in his pockets – clearly annoyed but in no way threatening the police.
Other witnesses claim they saw a previous confrontation where police had assaulted Tomlinson when he asked to be allowed through a cordon.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has taken over the inquiry into Tomlinson’s death and his family are concerned that this means there will probably be no inquest or action against guilty police officers for three years.
Last Saturday black-clad marchers, some carrying placards reading "Who killed Ian Tomlinson?" marched through the capital before laying flowers and lighting candles at the spot where Tomlinson died.
"We are hopeful that the IPCC will fulfil their duty to carry out a full investigation into his death and that action will be taken against any police officer who contributed to Ian's death through misconduct," Tomlinson's stepson Paul King told the marchers.
"We may have a long and difficult process ahead of us in getting justice," he said.

No comments: