Socialist Worker

G20 protests: ‘Inappropriate force’ the fault of poorly trained officers, say Met police bosses

by SIân Ruddick
Issue No. 2158

Police used “inappropriate force” against demonstrators during the G20 protests in April this year.

That is a conclusion of a highly critical report published this week by the home affairs select committee into the policing of the event.

Many protesters and some bystanders were assaulted by police during demonstrations against the summit of world leaders.

Newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson died shortly after being pushed to the ground by a police officer.

But instead of coming down hard against senior police officers, the committee accepts their plea that “poorly trained” officers, motivated by “fear”, were responsible.

Protesters who were injured by police equipped with protective clothing and armed with batons will find this difficult to stomach.

While the report proposes changes to police methods of containment, known as “kettling”, it fails to address the death of Ian Tomlinson.

Ian’s widow, Julia Tomlinson, said the family are devastated by the report.

“It refers to Ian collapsing but does not mention the video evidence showing that he was struck,” she said.

“From the report it looks like Ian never had contact with the police. It’s like we’re back to the first statement the Metropolitan Police gave.”

She continued, “The report says that police officers need to watch how they behave because they are being filmed.

“It should be their behavior, rather than the camera, that is the issue.”

The United Campaign Against Police Violence is organising a protest outside the London headquarters of the Independent Police Complaints Commission. Rally outside 90 High Holborn, London WC1 at 4pm on Friday 10 July

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Article information

Tue 30 Jun 2009, 18:25 BST
Issue No. 2158
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