Socialist Worker

Ian Tomlinson riot cop to face charges

by Siân Ruddick
Issue No. 2253

PC Simon Harwood, the riot cop who shoved Ian Tomlinson before he died, will face trial for manslaughter.

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates Court on 20 June.

The director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer, made the decision after an inquest into Ian’s death found a verdict of unlawful killing last month.

Ian, a newspaper seller from east London, died during the G20 protests in London on 1 April 2009.

Video footage of Harwood pushing Ian from behind as he walked away from police was shown across the world.

Starmer had previously said that there was insufficient evidence to press criminal charges against Harwood.

Ian’s family and many others disputed this.

His family pursued the police.

They accused the Metropolitan Police, of which Harwood was a member, of a cover-up.

An inquest heard how Ian had his hands in his pockets, was not encroaching on the police line and was not a threat to anyone.

He landed “heavily” and died of internal bleeding, the inquest ruled.

Harwood has been suspended on full pay for over two years. He will stand trial and face an internal Metropolitan Police inquiry, which will be held in public.

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Article information

Tue 24 May 2011, 17:59 BST
Issue No. 2253
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