Tag Archives: Mark Sully

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.

‘Ian Tomlinson, who’s he?’ – Full text of the letter issued by PC Simon Harwood’s solicitors to the media

Here’s the full text of the letter issued to the media by lawyers Reynolds Dawson on behalf of PC Simon Harwood, the Territorial Support Group police officer not being charged by the Crown Prosecution Service in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson:

To all editors

NOT FOR PUBLICATION

Dear Sirs,

RE: PC SIMON HARWOOD

We are the solicitors for PC Simon Harwood. Attached to this letter is a photograph of our client.

There has of course been significant mainstream media interest arising from our client’s involvement in the policing of the G20 protests, as well as a great deal of threatening material published about him on the internet which has caused him and his family great concern.

Nevertheless, he is aware that the media will not allow his family and neighbours any peace until it has a photograph of him, and he has taken the view that the only way to protect them from harassment by the photographers camped outside their addresses is to provide one. At least then the responsible media will have no justification for further encroachment. We need not remind the press of their obligations in this regard under the PCC Code of Practice.

For the avoidance of doubt, it would be inappropriate for PC Harwood to comment publicly on the Director of Public Prosecution’s decision or on other proceedings in the way that others have chosen to. Accordingly, there could be no legitimate purpose in approaching PC Harwood for further comment.

Yours faithfully,

REYNOLDS DAWSON

Pic: Rikki IndyMedia

Blog reports on the Justice for Ian Tomlinson demonstration in London yesterday:

Let me know if I have missed any.

ETA:

Thank you to commenters milgram (Edinburgh Anarchists) and boyfromfishponds (Bristol Class War) for providing links to reports on pickets outside of London:

Fighting FIT: Police Forward Intelligence Teams and the death of Ian Tomlinson

FIT cops at Ian Tomlinson's assault?

So, are these FIT officers? There are several more milling about in the Ian Tomlinson assault video, but it’s a bit too choppy to see much on the YouTube version.

Commenter Ed on Ian Bone’s blog has suggested that Stephen Discombe CO2558 might be present.

Any thoughts?