Socialist Worker

Ian Tomlinson: cops saw push, then covered it up

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2251

Senior police officers failed to pass on vital information that showed Ian Tomlinson was pushed and batoned by a police officer minutes before he died, it has been revealed.

Three police officers gave witness statements saying they saw a police officer push Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests on 1 April 2009.

But this information was withheld from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) and Ian Tomlinson’s family. The media were also not told—and nor was Freddy Patel, who carried out the original, now disputed, post-mortem.

Police were slow to inform the family of the death and told them it was probably from a heart attack.

Yet even before the post‑mortem was carried out, police were giving unofficial briefings claiming the family weren’t surprised by the death.

Police also withheld this information from the recent inquest into Ian’s death.

The IPCC last week began investigating why its officials were not informed about the police witness statements.

On Monday, the IPCC released the findings of its long‑awaited report into Ian’s death. The report is redacted in places. But it says Simon Harwood, the riot cop shown to have hit Ian to the ground, should face gross misconduct charges.

Ian’s family have consistently said that police attempted to conceal information—amounting to a cover-up.

Ian was found to have been unlawfully killed at an inquest last week.

Simon Harwood will now face disciplinary proceedings by the Metropolitan Police. He has been suspended on full pay for the two years since Ian died.

The director of public prosecutions is reviewing his decision not to press charges against Harwood in light of the inquest’s decision.

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Tue 10 May 2011, 18:13 BST
Issue No. 2251
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