It has been a while since last I posted about the killing of Ian Tomlinson, but like many, I have not forgotten. Today I return to the venture of trying to identify the police officers present at the deadly assault on Mr Tomlinson at Royal Exchange Buildings in central London back on Wednesday 1st April 2009.
Here we have one of the three officers labeled in these blog posts with the letter T. Initially this was because by their dress – with riot helmets and riot shields, and balaclavas on some of them – and by the way they moved together, as a unit, in a manner which suggested drill training, it seemed possible that they were Territorial Support Group (TSG) officers. Indeed, it has subsequently transpired that the officer who actually assaulted Ian Tomlinson in this incident (labeled here as ‘A’) – an officer dressed in a similar fashion, though acting apart from the ‘T’ trio – is a TSG officer.
However, as a commenter on this blog pointed out, and as is reasonably clear from the pictures of officer ‘T1’ here, the ‘T’s shoulder numbers indicate that they are instead what is known as ‘Level 2’s. That is, they are not members of the TSG (a unit which is separate from the borough-based structure of the regular police, and given the shoulder number prefix ‘U’) but local officers used as a tactical reserve to the TSG in public order situations such as the G20 protests under the MAST scheme. They are trained in the same skills and tactics as the full-time TSG, but for four days per year instead of approximately ten days per year for TSG officers (source: Metropolitan Police website via Internet Archive). These Level 2 officers wear their normal shoulder numbers.
As can be seen from the pictures above, ‘T1’ appears to have a double character letter prefix on his epaulette, indicating that he is a borough officer, as well as a three digit number.
Other things to note about officer ‘T1’ include:
- Black balaclava pulled down to just below the nose
- Distinctive black button badge over right breast
- ‘Oblong-over-octagon’ black shield grip on riot shield
- Right-handed grip on ‘public order long baton’
- Black gloves
- Possibly green or blue eyes
If you recognise this officer – one of at least eighteen who saw the deadly assault on Ian Tomlinson, then please speak out.
If you took or have seen a photograph of this police officer elsewhere (perhaps you recognise the badge), please check to see if the shoulder number in that picture is clearer than here.
Above all, please keep up the pressure, please do not forget, please do not let this be swept under the carpet. This is too important to simply leave in the hands of the IPCC, which has just announced that a police officer found wantonly altering notes on the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes will not face any charges.
By way of a postscript, the United Campaign Against Police Violence has been set up in response to the killing of Ian Tomlinson and others by the police, and it continues to keep the pressure up on the IPCC and the police.