Tag Archives: Territorial Support Group

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.

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.

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:

What price one man’s death at the hands of police? What price one man’s privacy at the hands of the media? Simon Harwood, Ian Tomlinson and “harassment”, continued

Since yesterday’s blog post, the picture supplied by PC Simon Harwood’s solicitors has been published in the mainstream media – well, The Sun and the Telegraph. Both reports – unlike the BBC’s recent articles – even refer to Harwood beating Mr Tomlinson with a club rather than just pushing him to the ground.

But no mention so far of the ‘not for publication’ letter to which the photograph was attached (reproduced above).

As Kevin at Random Blowe blog puts it:

Now personally, I’m not interested in what Harwood has to say about anything unless it is in the dock and in front of a jury. Equally, anything that prevents his lawyers from trying to argue in future that a fair trial is impossible, because of intense interest from newspapers more interested in headlines than justice, has to be good. After all, there still remains a realsitic possibility that the DPP’s decision may be subject to legal challenge and that Harwood may yet have to account for his actions in court.

But given how shocking this case is, it is still important to be able to put a face to the name. Anonymity granted to police officers normally extends far beyond what ordinary members of the public can ever expect – not unlike the kind of different treatment routinely granted to policce whenever they are accused of causing someone’s death.

What Simon Harwood did had terrible consequences, and clearly his culpability needs to be judged, as would the actions of any member of the public in similar circumstances.

Indeed, we know – our common sense screams it at us – that had the roles been reversed, and it had been Ian Tomlinson who beat Simon Harwood from behind with a club after his friend set a vicious dog on him, and then shoved him hard to the ground, and then walked off, all whilst wearing a ski-mask, then Harwood’s family would not be rending their garments in public over the failure to prosecute.

So the attempt by Harwood’s solicitors to stamp on any coverage of their client. There is a genuine public interest in this, and no amount of whining or ‘Not For Publication’ letters is going to stop that.

But equally the buck does not stop with PC Simon Harwood. In many respects he was doing exactly what he should have been. He was an experienced Territorial Support Group officer. He had been selected for the TSG because of his aggression and willingness to use physical force. During Glencoe, the G20 policing operation, TSG units were clearly deployed by senior officers to control space and people, not to prevent crime or maintain order; Simon Harwood was there not as a warranted peace officer, but as an anonymous paramilitary footsoldier.

Nor were these ‘inexperienced junior officers panicking under pressure on the frontline’ as was the line fed to the Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons – these were experienced full-time public order specialists (TSG), backed up by volunteer reservists (Level 2s), directed by officers who spend their time surveilling and monitoring political protests (Forward Intelligence Teams), and under the on-the-ground supervision of a formal public order policing hierarchy (such as the Bronze Commander).

Simon Harwood should pay for his actions.

But so too should Commander Bob Broadhurst (Metropolitan Police), who was in overall control of the G20 policing.

So too should Chief Superintendent Alex Robertson (City of London Police), operational commander on the ground, witness to and possibly the one who ordered the assault on Ian Tomlinson.

So too should Chief Inspector Peter Mills (Sussex Police), another senior police officer with a long background in policing protests who was present at or in the near vicinity of the Tomlinson assault.

So too should PC Alan Palfrey (Metropolitan Police), Forward Intelligence Team officer who was a direct witness to the assault on Ian Tomlinson, who would have known Mr Tomlinson was not even a protester, but who did nothing to help him, and who did not make a statement about the incident until after he was named by non-police officers. So too should PC Palfrey’s FIT colleague PC Steve Discombe.

So too should the many other police officers who were witness to, who covered up, or who were complicit with, the assault on Ian Tomlinson.

And no number of solicitors’ letters from any one of them shall stem the public interest in, or the public anger at, the killing of Ian Tomlinson.

» Letter from PC Simon Harwood’s solicitors (684 kb PDF)

PC Simon Harwood, the death of Ian Tomlinson, and “harassment”

So PC Simon Harwood – the police officer not charged in connection with the death of Ian Tomlinson – has apparently got his lawyers to complain to the media that he feels he’s being hounded.

It seems they believe that there is “no legitimate purpose in approaching PC Harwood for further comment.”

I’m sure the Tomlinson family will have a lot of sympathy for him and his predicament.

RIP Ian Tomlinson – killed by British police, one year ago today

Dead one whole year, and no police officer facing charges.

On the acquittal of G20 assault cop Sergeant Delroy Smellie: Message received and understood

So Sergeant Delroy Smellie of the Metropolitan Police Territorial Support Group, captured on film backhanding then beating with a metal truncheon protester Nicola Fisher at last year’s G20 demonstrations in London has beaten the rap.

We all have District Judge Daphne Wickham to thank for ensuring that this whole mess was tidied up ahead of tomorrow’s one year anniversary of the death at police hands of unarmed bystander Ian Tomlinson.

The Internet Careers Advice Bureau is now OPEN: Today’s client – G20 assault cop Sergeant Delroy Smellie

With the trial of G20 assault cop Sergeant Smellie nearly over, it would appear prudent to investigate some possible career moves for Delroy the Trotter.

So far the Twitter hashtag #NewCareersForSergeantSmellie has thrown up the following suggestions:

  • Pro tennis player (strong backhand)
  • Prosecution lawyer for Simpson retrial (he hates OJ)
  • PE teacher at Catholic diocesan school
  • Head of Physical Therapy, Guantanamo Bay Retirement Home
  • Team leader, West Midlands Serious Crime Squad (reformed)
  • Angling licence superintendent at private lake (very tough with Fishers)
  • ‘Driver’ for Robert De Niro (post soon to be available)

Add your ideas here or on Twitter – together we can help this 6′ 5″, eighteen stone shrinking violet a suitable new position.

[Cheers to @Raxscallion for their input!]