It was great to see PC Andrew Ott, the copper who knocked a protester’s tooth out, get sent to prison for eight months last week. It was even better to hear that he sobbed in the dock as he got sent down.
Ott wasn’t so pathetic when he hit William Horner in the face with his shield at the Parliament Square tuition fees protest in December 2010.
He was taped saying that he wanted to “fucking batter” the protesters. Ott then tried to claim William had slipped on a metal fence. He was recorded saying, “He’s going to have to have done something at the moment because I just put his tooth out.”
His lawyer argued that the trained riot cop was traumatised by the protest. And the judge said he had simply “abused his power”.
But Ott was just one of the hundreds of riot cops who kettled and battered protesters that day.
And the police have got away with far worse in the past. Remember Ian Tomlinson. He died after being pushed to the ground by a riot cop during a protest in 2008.
He had been walking away with his hands in his pockets. The copper who pushed him, PC Simon Harwood, was cleared of manslaughter.
Most of the time the police think they can do what they like—because they have the protection of the state.
That’s why Ott thought he would get away with it.