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Ian tomlinson


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Ian tomlinson

  1. 1. • Ian Tomlinson was a newspaper vender from London and on 1st April 2009 he died at the G20 protests. He was not a protestor, merely a man heading home after a business trip in the city. However whilst making his way through the demonstrations, he didn‟t get home, instead he had an encounter with a man behind him. This man was “PC Simon Harwood”, a police officer with London‟s Metropolitan Police Force and belonged to elite territorial support group. PC Harwood struck Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground and Tomlinson died moments later.• Initially through official statements and off the record briefings said that Ian Tomlinson had died of natural causes. They said that there had been no contact with the police, that there were no marks on his body and said that when police attempted to resuscitate him, the police medics were stopped by doing so because protestors were throwing bottles at the police and the result of that was stories like this. The first official statement declaring this was released on 1st April at around 23:36pm, four hours after Tomlinson had died, this was an allegation that media reports said was inaccurate:• „A member of the public went to a police officer on a cordon in Birchin Lane, junction with Cornhill to say that there was a man who had collapsed around the corner. That officer sent two police medics through the cordon line and into St Michaels Alley where they found a man who had stopped breathing. They called for London Ambulance Service at about 7:30pm. The officers gave him an initial check and cleared his airway before moving him back behind the cordon line to a clear area outside the Royal Exchange Building where they gave him CPR. The officers took the decision to move him as during the time a number of missiles – believed to be bottles – were being thrown at them. The London Ambulance Service took the man to hospital where he was pronounced dead.‟• A newspaper shows that “bottles” that were supposedly thrown at police had turned into “bricks” with the headline being, “Police pelted with bricks as they help dying man.” Newspapers were mislead by official version of events put out by police.
  2. 2. • Journalists wanted to find out the truth but protestors/witnesses had all disappeared so they decided to turn to the internet, that is, “Twitter,” where he found that it was a „social arena‟ in which other people were gathering with a common motive and independently of journalists, people themselves were interrogating exactly what had happened to Ian Tomlinson in his last 30 minutes alive.• However, two men went to Ian Tomlinson‟s aid after he had collapsed, they phoned the ambulance and said they didn‟t see any bottles or bricks and were concerned that the stories weren‟t as accurate as police were claiming them to have been.• Because of this journalists used social media and encountered individuals with materials, that is, photographs which allowed journalists to dig deeper and put out a story themselves.• After 6 days, journalists managed to attract almost 20 witnesses who had videos and messages of what they saw, that is police attacking Tomlinson. Yet police still refused to accept that and there was no official investigation into his death.• Then something changed, Lewis received and email explaining that on the day Tomlinson had died he had been heading home from a business trip, when a video was filmed over the G20 protests capturing the moment when Tomlinson began to walk away from the police in order to get home an officer struck his leg area with a baton and lunged at him from behind as Tomlinson propelled forward hitting the floor. Postmortem examinations, indicated that due to being struck by a baton and being thrown to the ground, Tomlinson died from internal bleeding caused by blunt force trauma to the abdomen, in association with cirrhosis of the liver.• The video was placed on the Guardian‟s website and within hours senior officers appeared asking for it to be removed only to be told “No as it was to late and would already have circulated half way around the country”.
  3. 3. • This map, highlights the stages where Tomlinson was travelling from when leaving the building where he had his business meeting at to the moment when he was killed by PC Harwood. • Point 1 is where Tomlinson left Bank- Monument Station at 7:00pm. • Point 2 is when Tomlinson was struck in Royal Exchange Passage around 7:20pm. • Point 3 is where Tomlinson collapsed and died outside 77 Cornhill 7:25-7:30pm.
  4. 4. • Originally the Crown Prosecution Service announced in July 2010 that no charges would be brought against the officer, PC Harwood as at first pathologists couldn‟t determine a link between the death and the alleged assault. Yet, in May 2011 an inquest jury returned a verdict of unlawful killing, ruling that the push and baton strike had involved excessive and unreasonable force. As a result the CPS reviewed its decision and Harwood was charged with manslaughter. He entered a plea of not guilty in October 2011; his trial is set to open at the Old Bailey in June 2012.• The Guardian alleged that the IPCC and police appeared to mislead or obstruct initial inquiries by journalists. The announcement of Tomlinsons death was delayed by three hours, then confirmed in a statement that accused protesters of hampering police efforts to save his life, a claim that appears to have no factual basis and for which the police declined to name their source. Tomlinsons family were not told he had died until nine hours after his death.• The police and IPCC then tried to guide news coverage by telling journalists that his family had been concerned about his health and were not surprised to hear he had had a heart attack. Journalists who asked whether police had had any contact with Tomlinson before his death were asked not to speculate in case it upset the family, and direct contact with the family was refused. The police issued a statement on behalf of the family instead, which said, "The police are keeping us informed of any developments."• The Guardian published its image of Tomlinson sitting on the ground on Sunday, 5 April.• That morning, Tomlinsons family attended the scene of his death, where they met Paul Lewis, a Guardian reporter; they wanted to know more and gave him their contact details. In August 2009, Tomlinsons wife said this meeting with Lewis was the first the family had heard about any police contact with Tomlinson before his death. The familys police liaison officer later approached the newspaper to say he was "extremely unhappy" that Lewis had spoken to the family, and that the newspaper had to stay away from them for 48 hours.
  5. 5. • The IPCC separately accused the newspaper of "door stepping the family at a time of grief," according to The Guardian. On the same day, the IPCC briefed journalists from other newspapers that there was nothing in the story that Tomlinson might have been assaulted by police before his death. During this period, according to Tomlinsons family, they were prevented from seeing his body; they say they were first allowed to see him six days after his death.• The death provoked a discussion within the UK and elsewhere about the nature of Britains policing. David Gilbertson, a former assistant inspector who worked for the Home Office formulating policing policy, told The New York Times that the British police used to act with the sanction of the public, but tactics had changed after a series of violent assaults on officers in the 1990s. Now dressing in military-style uniforms, and equipped with anti-stab vests, extendable metal batons and clubs that turn into handcuffs, an entire generation of officers has come to regard the public as the enemy, the Times said. The incident prompted an examination of police relationships with the public, the media, and the IPCC.• The fallout from Tomlinsons death appears to have affected police responses to subsequent protests and demonstrations. During the 2010 student protest in London on 10 November 2010, London police deployed lower numbers of officers. Fallout from Tomlinsons death was also cited as a possible factor in the polices initial cautious response to the 2011 England Riots in August 2011.
  6. 6. • The video which was placed onto the Guardian‟s website and then placed onto youtube by citizens has received many comments by the public declaring what they think about the death of Ian Tomlinson, here are just some of them.
  7. 7. • Since 1969, three thousand one hundred and eighty people have died in police, prison, psychiatric or immigration custody.• That‟s three thousand one hundred and eighty people – all of whom were someone‟s son or someone‟s daughter – who died unnecessarily and often in deeply suspicious circumstances. Three thousand one hundred and eighty people who arbitrarily and tragically lost their right to live their lives, their right to a future, their right to spend time with their friends and families.• That is why the United Families and Friends Campaign remembers each and every one of these men and women, each and every year – and you can see some of the photographs from the 2011 march for justice above, one of which includes the photograph of Ian Tomlinson.