Monday, April 6, 2009
The death of a newspaper seller during the G20 protests last week which was initially reported by the media to have been caused by a heart attack was actually a result of an attack by riot cops, according to eyewitnesses.
Ian Tomlinson, 47, was not even taking part in the G20 protests, he was walking home from his job as a newsagent near the Bank of England when he collapsed and suffered a heart attack.
News reports immediately after the incident stated that Tomlinson looked dazed and confused before collapsing and being treated by medics.
The explanation that the man’s death was accidental was strongly pushed by the media in the hours after the incident, and a police post mortem examination attributed his death to natural causes.
However, eyewitnesses have come forward to state that Tomlinson was attacked by riot police before his collapse.
Anna Branthwaite, an experienced press photographer, told the IPCC: “I can remember seeing Ian Tomlinson. He was rushed from behind by a riot officer with a helmet and shield two or three minutes before he collapsed.”
Amiri Howe stated that Tomlinson was struck ‘near the head’ with a police baton.
Another protester said she saw Mr Tomlinson being pushed aggressively from behind by officers.
Police have promised to make further inquiries as a result of the new testimony, but since British cops can get away with shooting innocent people in the head multiple times and not face charges, we are skeptical that anyone will be brought to justice for the murder of Tomlinson.
Tomlinson’s murder echoes the death of Carlo Giuliani, who was murdered by riot police at the G8 summit in 2001 in Italy. Giuliani was shot twice and ran over twice by police. The officer who shot Giuliani was later charged with murder but escaped punishment after a judge ruled that the shots fired by officer Mario Placanica “ricocheted off plaster”.
However, forensic doctor professor Marco Salvi claimed the shots were a direct hit and that police ran over Giuliani’s body when he was still alive. Mario Placanica later claimed that he was a patsy for a wider cover-up, and soon after was involved in a “suspicious” car accident, days after allegedly observing someone tampering with his car.
The man who died during last week’s G20 protests was "assaulted" by riot police shortly before he suffered a heart attack, according to witness statements received by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Investigators are examining a series of corroborative accounts that allege Ian Tomlinson, 47, was a victim of police violence in the moments before he collapsed near the Bank of England in the City of London last Wednesday evening. Three witnesses have told the Observer that Mr Tomlinson was attacked violently as he made his way home from work at a nearby newsagents. One claims he was struck on the head with a baton.
Photographer Anna Branthwaite said: "I can remember seeing Ian Tomlinson. He was rushed from behind by a riot officer with a helmet and shield two or three minutes before he collapsed." Branthwaite, an experienced press photographer, has made a statement to the IPCC.
Another independent statement supports allegations of police violence. Amiri Howe, 24, recalled seeing Mr Tomlinson being hit "near the head" with a police baton. Howe took one of a sequence of photographs that show a clearly dazed Mr Tomlinson being helped by a bystander.