Tag Archives: Ian Tomlinson

Getting away with murder – 1,433 deaths in police hands since 1990 and not a single cop convicted

It’s not just one fat-fingered thug from Carshalton who has got away with murder here – besides Simon Harwood there are others with blood-stained hands involved in the needless death of Ian Tomlinson, commissioners of crimes of omission, intent, neglect, inaction and untruthfulness.

Alex Robertson, Steve Discombe, Alan Palfrey, Andrew Moore, Kerry Smith, Nick Jackson, Jon Bish, Trevor Stevens, Clive Wilkinson, Colin Nye, Carl Small, Ryan Cowlin, Andrew Massey and others there at the scene.

Timothy Williams, Mike Bowron, Paul Stephenson, Bob Broadhurst, Anthony Crampton and others who set the tone either for unchecked brutality or for shameless cover-up.

All share in the culpability of the acts that led to the death of Ian Tomlinson, and in the acts that prevented the timely and accurate investigation of the circumstances of his death.

All uniformed police officers.

All off scott-free.

And as the statistics compiled month after month, year after year by INQUEST – a charity working with the families of those who die from contact with the police – show, the snuffing out of Ian Tomlinson’s life at the feet of officers who batoned him, set attack dogs on him, threw him to the ground without a thought for his welfare, his health, is sadly, enragingly, all too common.

1,433 deaths across England and Wales since 1990. 1,433 families bereaved.

ONE THOUSAND, FOUR HUNDRED, AND THIRTY-THREE LIVES SNATCHED EARLY.

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Every dot, a life.

Every dot, justice denied.

1,433 deaths in police hands, and not a single police officer convicted.

RIP Ian Tomlinson. Rest in Peace all victims of police violence.

JUSTICE? Carshalton killer cop PC Simon Harwood acquitted

MURDERING

BASTARD

Happy J18

Thirteen years… Unlucky for some.

PC Simon Harwood’s trial began today. He’s being prosecuted for manslaughter in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London on 1 April 2009.

Here’s to justice being done, and being seen to be done. Much love to the Tomlinson family.

G20 police witnesses revisited: PC Nick ‘T3’ Jackson – flaky at inquest, ‘courageous & professional’ at riots?

I notice from my visitor logs that someone arrived here today after searching for PC Nick Jackson.

Jackson, you may remember, was one of the cops right by Ian Tomlinson when he was beaten to the floor by TSG officer PC Simon Harwood at the 2009 G20 protests in London. Before his name became known I gave him an alphanumeric label (‘T3’) as I did with other police officers seen in video footage and still photos in order to better track their movements throughout the events surrounding the Tomlinson assault.

He was even called before the Tomlinson inquest last April – that’s two years after the G20 and all that happened there – to give evidence.

Curious as to the reason for the sudden interest in Jackson I reread the transcript of his inquest appearance.

In doing this I was quickly reminded of how easily Jackson became flustered under the mildest of prodding form cuddly QC Mr Matthew Ryder, who took him by the hand through his original witness statements.

Having originally claimed that Ian Tomlinson was some sort of threat to the assembled riot cops and attack dog handlers, Jackson was under the gentle coaxing of Mr Ryder forced to back-pedal, as this sequence from the end of his testimony shows:

  • Q. Other than the fact that Mr Tomlinson wasn’t actually moving as fast as you would like him to, he didn’t personally present to you in any threatening way, did he?
  • A. No, Mr Tomlinson wasn’t a threat.
  • Q. Mr Tomlinson wasn’t a threat?
  • A. Wasn’t a threat, no.
  • Q. You see, can I just come back to one small point we were mentioning earlier, which is about distinguishing between people?
  • A. Mm-hm.
  • Q. If you don’t distinguish between different types of people, then you don’t distinguish, as we heard, between someone who could be disabled or someone who is just trying to make their way home and innocently caught up in the middle of something. An older man, for example, moving slowly, trying to get home?
  • A. Yes.
  • Q. I don’t think anyone would dispute that was Mr Tomlinson’s position?
  • A. No.
  • Q. I suggest to you, Officer, if we are not careful about discriminating between different types of people, then there is a danger that, by treating everyone as a threat, you could be attacking the very people you are there to protect.
  • A. Possibly.

It would seem our Jacko is not an exemplar of common sense, reasoning, consistency or level-headedness under pressure.

But in light of the puzzling interest in the Level II-trained Fulham and Hammersmith constable, I googled him to see what he had been up to recently…

And lo, it seems that the G20 shenanigans – fatal assault right in front of him included – has not dimmed Action Jackson’s willingness to mix it up in hairy public order situations.

Last November a PC Nick Jackson received not one but TWO awards “for courage and professionalism” he showed during “serious disorder” at both the TUC march (M26) and at unspecified “student protests”.

But could this really be the same Fulham & Hammersmith PC Nick Jackson who witnessed two shoves, a dog bite and a baton strike on an unarmed, middle-aged man who, by the officer’s own admission, posed no danger to police, and might have been incapacitated or otherwise disabled?

The same PC Nick Jackson who despite seeing Ian Tomlinson brutally felled offered no assistance?

The same PC Nick Jackson who crumbled under the polite probings of a lawyer at an inquest?

Surely not!

It would, after all, beggar belief that Hammersmith & Fulham borough commander Chief Inspector Lucy D’Orsi would send a flaky doughnut-botherer like the G20 Jackson into the front line of anything too lively, given his lead feet and fast-unravelling Tomlinson testimony… Wouldn’t it?

So we must assume two cops in Fulham & Hammersmith share the same name and rank – it’s the only thing that makes sense.

In which case, perhaps CI D’Orsi could refer to her two Nicholi differently; Jacksons Minor and Major, maybe?

Ian Tomlinson death cop PC Simon Harwood to stand trial for manslaughter

So, PC Simon Harwood – the TSG officer who batoned and shoved Ian Tomlinson in a manner which three pathologists concluded significantly contributed to his death – is to face trial for manslaughter in October.

It looks like those who trained and directed Harwood – as well as hundreds, thousands of other police deployed to control the citizenry with whatever level of physical force they see fit – have got away with it.

For now.

PC Simon Harwood due to give evidence at inquest into Ian Tomlinson’s G20 death at 2pm

He’s in the room now, being shown the layout. Not such a tough man without his Action Man gear.

His TSG boss, Inspector Tim Williams, was giving evidence this morning. Harwood should be giving evidence from 2pm this afternoon.

G20 police witnesses to fatal Ian Tomlinson assault – UPDATE

Two years ago, when this project began ten days after Ian Tomlinson died at the hands of PC Harwood of the Territorial Support Group under the noses of the Forward Intelligence Teams and others, it it looked like it was going to be another brushed-under-the-carpet death-by-police-contact.

Here we are now two years on, and are we any closer to justice? How much more heartache for the Tomlinson family? Will Smiley Culture’s family have to endure the same agony as they try to get at the truth?

One thing we do know, and that’s that the police, collectively and as individuals, have singularly failed to be as candid or as honest as they could have been from the very beginning. Everything has been prised from them, not volunteered by them.

So we must continue prising; prising and prising until every mailed fist is broken open.

Accordingly here is the updated list of police witnesses to the deadly assault on Ian Tomlinson:

A = PC Simon Harwood, (4TSG, Met – Aitken Road, Catford, driver, U4103)

T1 = PC Andrew Moore (L2, Met – Fulham, driver, FHxxx)
T2 = PC Kerry Smith (L2, Met – Fulham, driver, FH521)
T3 = PC Nicholas Jackson (L2, Met – Fulham, driver, FH268)

D1 = PC Jon Bish (City of London, dog handler, CP807, same serial as PC Stevens) & Max the black & tan German Shepherd
D2 = PC Trevor Stevens (City of London, dog handler, ???, same serial as PC Bish) & Finn the black German Shepherd
D3 = PC unknown (City of London, dog handler, CP788)
D4 = PC Clive Wilkinson? (City of London, dog handler, ???)
D5 = PC unknown (City of London, dog handler, A712)

F1 = PC Alan Palfrey (Forward Intelligence Team, Met – Camden, EK127)
F2 = PC Steve Discombe (POIU/CO11/Forward Intelligence Team, Met, CO2558)
F3 = unknown (FIT)
F4 = unknown (FIT)
F5 = PC R Cowlin (POIU/CO11/Forward Intelligence Team, Met, CO5466)

C1 = unknown (City of London, 204)

U1 = unknown (City of London, possibly PS Timothy Slade, superior of Bish & Stevens?)
U2 = unknown (possibly not a cop)
U3 = unknown (possibly not a cop)

Pictures and further updates to follow.

[Edited 24/1/12 to add small details based on rereading inquest transcripts]

Tomlinson Inquest – Day 6: PC Simon Harwood to give evidence

Today is the day PC Simon Harwood is due to give evidence for the first time at the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of Ian Tomlinson on April Fool’s Day two years back. According to the court timetable, his testimony may overrun into tomorrow.

He will be preceded by Inspector Timothy Williams, his serial commander at 4TSG.

Tomlinson Inquest – Day 5: Two years on from the killing of Ian Tomlinson

Today is both the second anniversary of the death of Ian Tomlinson at the hands of the police, and the fifth day of the Coroner’s Inquest into that death. The end of a life, and the end of a week of evidence.

Thoughts and love to the whole Tomlinson family.

M26. 26 March. March 26. See you on the streets!

Via Deterritorial Support Group.

Useful links:

Key messages*:

    1. NO COMMENT to all police questions
    2. GIVE NO DETAILS IN A STOP & SEARCH and only give them if arrested and in a police station
    3. USE A GOOD SOLICITOR eg Bindman’s, Birnberg Pierce, Hodge Jones & Allen

      * Per GBC.

      Not FIT for purpose? Police ‘Forward Intelligence Team’ implicated in student protest fit-up

      Remember the Forward Intelligence Teams? Well, camera-wielding cops are back in the news again, this time in relation to the policing of the anti-cuts and student protests that exploded across the country at the end of last year. It seems that at least one FIT officer – according to the London Evening Standard – has been implicated in a shameless attempt to fit up a protester on false charges at the ‘DayX3’ protest on 9 December.

      Unfortunately for the police involved it seems that the FIT cop was wired for sound and, after catching a young protester who had “breached a police cordon”, that officer was apparently recorded as he “conspired to falsely arrest the 20-year-old” with his colleagues. The arrestee sustained a broken tooth in the arrest. The circumstances are now being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

      You may remember that the FIT has history with the IPCC. Experienced FIT cops, including PC Alan Palfrey from Camden, PC Steve Discombe and others, witnessed the deadly assault on Ian Tomlinson by riot cop PC Simon Harwood at the 2009 G20 protests, but failed to come forward and give evidence until long after the original police narrative (‘a tragic collapse/police under hail of missiles’) had been discredited. Their unwillingness to come forward helped stymy attempts to properly investigate the circumstances of Mr Tomlinson’s death, and Harwood – a veteran on the Territorial Support Group – was able to avoid justice as the clock ran down in his favour. The Crown Prosecution Service announced in July 2010 that no charges would be brought against Harwood.

      So just what legitimate purpose do the FITs serve? We have seen, as with the Tomlinson case, that these so-called experts in political protest are not actually very good at identifying ‘domestic extremists‘ (as their bosses in the publicly unaccountable National Public Order Information Unit like to call any protesters they don’t like – which boils down to anyone involved in effective activism) – otherwise why would they point out a luckless bystander like Ian Tomlinson for TSG special treatment?

      We have also seen FIT officers direct violent attacks on activists when they question why some cops are not wearing their identifying numbers in order to have them photographed against their will, even when they knew full well who they were, in a manner consistent not with any desire to maintain public order or to prevent crime, but to embarrass, humiliate or otherwise harm recalcitrant protesters.

      And now we appear to have FIT cops directly involved in brazen attempts to subvert the law, and possibly even to assault those they do not like.

      But then should we expect anything else? The FITs are police units tasked with ‘harassment policing’ – identifying, surveilling, folllowing and hassling persons of interest in a range of fields, be it in relation to football fans, antisocial behaviour on housing estates or political protest. Their targets might never have committed an offence; but then that is the point – this is, after all, harassment policing, in which the message is loud and clear: if you come onto our radar, we will do our best to intimidate you, scare you, threaten you.

      No, the reason the FIT are tolerated, nurtured, supported by the police is clear – to make life uncomfortable for anyone who challenges the status quo, to grind down those who fight against injustices and inequalities (by means legal or otherwise), and to dissuade others from taking action by illustrating just how unpleasant it can be. It’s education in action: pour encourager les autres.

      PC Simon Harwood to face disciplinary charges for death of Ian Tomlinson – but FIT officers, ‘Bronze’ Robertson, G20 chief Broadhurst & top cop Stephenson all get off scot-free

      As Reuters puts it:

      The police officer who allegedly struck Ian Tomlinson and pushed him to the ground during last year’s G20 demonstrations shortly before the newspaper seller died was served with gross misconduct charges on Monday.

      The Independent Police Complaints Commission said Police Constable Simon Harwood would face allegations he struck Tomlinson with his baton on the leg and pushed him over, dangerous actions which inadvertently caused his death.

      The use of force was alleged to be neither necessary nor proportionate.

      In July, prosecutors ruled out bringing any criminal charges against Harwood over the incident with Tomlinson, which was caught on camera.

      Footage showed Tomlinson, 47, being pushed in the back by a riot squad officer causing him to fall as he became caught up in the fringes of a violent demonstration in central London in April last year.

      IPCC Commissioner for London Deborah Glass said the decision to include the allegation that Harwood’s actions caused Tomlinson’s death was a tough but correct decision.

      “From the moment the video was published to the world in April 2009, there has been an overwhelming public feeling that the officer seen to strike Ian Tomlinson should be held accountable for his actions,” she said.

      “I have agreed with the Metropolitan Police Service that the officer should face an allegation of gross misconduct.”

      A three-person panel of two senior police officers and an independent member of the public chosen by the force’s governing body, the Metropolitan Police Authority, will preside over the disciplinary hearing, which unusually will be held in public.

      If found guilty of gross misconduct, Harwood faces losing his job.

      The Director of Public Prosecutions Keir Starmer said in July Tomlinson had been on his way home and had not been taking part in the protests when the incident occurred.

      He had been walking slowly with his hands in his pockets away from a line of riot squad officers when one moved forward, hit him on the leg with a baton and then pushed him forcefully in the back.

      Tomlinson collapsed shortly afterwards and died. Starmer said no charges could be brought for manslaughter because of conflicting medical evidence.

      An initial post-mortem recorded that Tomlinson had died from a heart attack, but two further checks showed the cause of death to be internal bleeding.

      Even though Starmer said there was sufficient evidence to show that Harwood’s actions had constituted an assault, no charges for that could be brought because there was a six-month time limit.

      Tomlinson’s family said at the time that the decision was a disgrace.

      “The possibility Harwood might lose his job is not the genuine accountability that our family have waited so long for,” said Tomlinson’s widow Julia.

      “Whilst we believe that any disciplinary hearings must be held in public, we have already been badly let down by the Crown Prosecution Service and have real worries that these misconduct proceedings will lead to yet another whitewash.”

      Thug though Harwood may be, he did not act alone.

      He assaulted Ian Tomlinson after a City of London dog handler had already used his animal to attack him.

      He assaulted Ian Tomlinson in front of ‘political protest specialists’ of the Forward Intelligence Team, including part-time FIT cop PC Alan Palfrey from Camden borough.

      He assaulted Ian Tomlinson in front of other ‘public order specialists’ of the Territorial Support Group, as well as volunteer riot-trained Level 2 officers.

      He assaulted Ian Tomlinson with either the tacit approval or under the direct orders of Chief Superintendent Alex Robertson, the operational controller or ‘Bronze Commander’, himself in direct contact with Commander Bob Broadhurst, in overall charge of the G20 policing plan.

      And as for Metropolitan Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson? Well, I think we can all guess just how much responsibility he takes for all this.

      WE ARE ALL FITWATCH: A moment of victory – FITwatch blog back online…

      In the words of the FITwatch blog team:

      We’re backs!

      And with a secure server, massive coverage and a clear message that we’re here to stay.

      On Monday night we received notification that our site had been suspended due to “attempting to pervert the course of justice” due to our posting offering advice to the Millbank students. Whilst the email requesting the site be closed on the basis it was being used for “criminal activity” came from DI Paul Hoare, from the Police Central e-crime Unit, the authorisation to close was given much closer to home, by acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgeson. Hodgeson, who was involved in the first Fitwatch case, and has sat through many of our trials and appeals, evidently finally had enough and decided to shut us down.

      However, through totally underestimating the power of social media, this pathetic attempt has failed miserably. Within minutes of networking what had happened, people were re-publishing the post anywhere and everywhere. There are now over 100 sites carrying the original post – we haven’t managed to count them all. We have been overwhelmed by the support and solidarity and send massive thanks to everyone who’s offered to help and reposted the information. If we haven’t replied personally, it’s only because we’ve been inundated, and haven’t had time.

      This was a real attempt to squash dissent and criticism of the police, as well as attempting to stifle common sense advice to protesters subject to a witch hunt by the right wing press. The solidarity given by so many people has ensured this hasn’t happened, and has shown we can fight back. Even if we were to be arrested and prosecuted now, we would still be grateful to CO11 for the amount of publicity they’ve generated for us.

      We’re back, and we’re stronger than ever.

      WE ARE ALL FITWATCH: FITwatch press release on the Met Police taking down website

      FITwatch press release concerning the shut down of fitwatch.org.uk by the Metropolitan Police

      NEWS RELEASE

      For immediate release

      15th November 2010

      *Police shut down activist website after support of demo students*

      Police have shut down an activist website for openly supporting the student demonstrations at Millbank. FITwatch – a direct response to police Forward Intelligence Teams (FIT) – has a history of challenging excessive police surveillance and breaches of civil rights.

      The website was shut down at the request of the Metropolitan police after FITwatch issued advice to students fearful of arrest after the Millbank demonstration. A number of national newspapers made reference to an activist ‘anti-police site’ that urged demonstrators not to panic into giving themselves up.

      “Our advice was simply good sense based on the understanding we have of police operations”, said Val Swain, a FITwatch activist. “We don’t want to see students arrested, convicted and criminalised for what was an entirely justified action.”

      The Metropolitan police applied to the websites host to suspend the site on the grounds that it was involved in ‘criminal activities’- specifically, ‘attempting to pervert the course of justice’.

      “This is an attack on freedom of speech,” said Emily Apple, another FITwatch activist. “The police don’t like what we do. They have seized a flimsy excuse to shut us down, and are trying to silence criticism of the police, and support for political dissent”

      *For more information, contact:*

      defycops@yahoo.co.uk

      Notes for the Editor:

      i. The use of the domain name www.fitwatch.org.uk has been suspended following a request to the web hosting company, Just Host, from the Metropolitan police. The Met claimed the site was being used for ‘criminal activities’ following comments made on the blog following the student demo at Millbank. The police stated that the blog was being used in an ‘attempt to pervert the cause of justice’.

      ii. Fitwatch published an article on Friday 12th November that contained advice to protesters who were fearful of being identified by press photography, cctv or FIT. That advice has been copied widely around the internet, indicating the support that FITwatch has received on this issue. A copy of the post can be found at http://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2010/11/468002.html?c=on#comments

      iii. FITwatch contributed to a major story on the police use of ‘protester databases’ in the Financial Times on 17th October 2009.

      iv. FITwatch was also in the news in July when the Evening Standard reported on a court victory by three Fitwatch supporters who had successfully challenged the right of police to place attendees at an open public meeting under surveillance. http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-23860752-protesters-rights-were-violated-by-met-surveillance.do

      v. A number of FITwatch activists are currently taking legal action against the police for assault and unlawful arrest

      vi. A number of newspapers including the Mail and Independent carried the story of ‘anti-police’ website giving advice. The Independent stated:

      “Activist websites have published step-by-step instructions to those who fear they may be identified and arrested in the aftermath of the violence. One anti-police site told participants to destroy potential evidence, including clothing and any distinctive jewellery worn. A contributor urged demonstrators not to panic or give themselves up as a result of the flood of media coverage.”

      vii. The last post to the site before suspension was highly critical of the way the police have been capitalising on the aftermath of the protests to defend their own budgets and justify repression of protesters.

      WE ARE ALL FITWATCH: Watching the detectives behind the website shutdown

      The letter sent to FITwatch’s website hosts was written over the names of Acting Detective Inspector Will Hodgson and Detective Inspector Paul Hoare.

      DI Hodgson, from Public Order Crime Team in the CO11 Public Order branch of the Metropolitan Police, is in charge of Operation Malone, the Met’s investigation into the events at the Millbank building in Central London last week during the #demo2010 student protests. It would appear that his most high profile work before this was busting ticket touts.

      DI Hoare, on the other hand, seems to be a cyber crime specialist working out of the Met’s Central eCrime Unit (PCEU). DI Hoare may be found on business networking site LinkedIn, which helpfully tells us that previously he spent four-and-a-half years doing a similar job at the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA), the half-baked British attempt at an FBI-type outfit.