Witnesses Statement: Death at G20‏

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Ed
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Apr 3 2009 09:38
Witnesses Statement: Death at G20‏

Just got this in my email:

Quote:
Witnesses Statement: Death at G20

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Various participants in the City of London demonstrations on April 1st have come forward as witnesses to the collapse of a man later identified by authorities as Ian Tomlinson. Four different university students witnessed the collapse of Mr. Tomlinson. "He stumbled towards us from the direction of police and protestors and collapsed," said Peter Apps. "I saw a demonstrator who was a first aider attend to the person who had collapsed. The man was late 40s, had tattoos on his hands, and was wearing a Millwall shirt."

While the first aider was helping the man, another demonstrator with a megaphone was calling the police over so that they could help.

Natalie Langford, a student at Queen Mary, said "there was a police charge. A lot of people ran in our direction. The woman giving first aid stood in the path of the crowd." The running people, seeing a guy on the ground, went around them.

Another demonstrator had already called 999 and was getting medical advice from the ambulance dispatcher. "Four police with two police medics came. They told her [the first aider] to 'move along'.", said Peter Apps. "Then they pushed her forcibly away from him. They refused to listen to her [the first aider] when she tried to explain his condition."

The first aider, who did not wish to be named, said "The police surrounded the collapsed man. I was standing with the person who'd called 999. The ambulance dispatcher wanted to talk to the police, the phone was being held out to them, but the police refused."

Another witness, Elias Stoakes, added "we didn't see them [the police] perform CPR."

Other people who had tried to stay with the collapsed man were also pushed away.

All of the witnesses deny the allegation that many missiles were thrown.

According to Peter Apps, "one bottle was thrown, but it didn't come close to the police. Nothing was thrown afterwards as other demonstrators told the person to stop. The person who threw the bottle probably didn't realize that someone was behind the ring of police." All the witnesses said that the demonstrators were concerned for the well-being of the collapsed man once they realized that there was an injured person.

Natalie Langford said "when the ambulance arrived the protestors got straight out of the way."

These witnesses are happy to give media statements.

They can be contacted through this press liasion email: g20witnesses [at] gmail [dot] com

bouncingsoul
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Apr 5 2009 02:13

Jesus Christ. Bloody police.

Im surprised there isnt more on libcom about this, I mean i know summit protests arent really the libcom thing, but a guy did die like.

Big Brother
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Apr 5 2009 02:49

I'm sorry to say this but in yesterday right wing newspaper rags (including the mirror) showing little support in his clause even the S(p)un got into the act and claim that his (ex-?)wife "destroyed" messages that were left on the wall together with an "undercover police woman" and surprise surprise the S(p)un took full advantage of the situation. In other areas in the left wing media usually the web there claim that the "wife" supports the cause and asking for people to come forward with information. Its appears that the police has got his (ex-?) wife by the short and curly on their side.

Anyway I written a letter to the IIPC today and I will reread it later to double check for errors before I send it.

raw
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Apr 5 2009 08:27
Big Brother wrote:
I'm sorry to say this but in yesterday right wing newspaper rags (including the mirror) showing little support in his clause even the S(p)un got into the act and claim that his (ex-?)wife "destroyed" messages that were left on the wall together with an "undercover police woman" and surprise surprise the S(p)un took full advantage of the situation. In other areas in the left wing media usually the web there claim that the "wife" supports the cause and asking for people to come forward with information. Its appears that the police has got his (ex-?) wife by the short and curly on their side.

Anyway I written a letter to the IIPC today and I will reread it later to double check for errors before I send it.

Check this out: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/05/g20-protest-ian-tomlinson

"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."

Around 10 witnesses have come forward.

baboon
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Apr 5 2009 15:42

This stinks.

The day after he died there was one report that he was on the floor (conscious) with 5 riot police standing in front of him.. Then the police did a very effective job in ensuring that there was no more information except their spin that he had died of "natural causes". The picture in the Observer today shows him on the floor with five riot police in what looks to me an aggressive stance. On Friday the IPCC (independent my arse) was about to release a statement talking of "a tragic accident". Then, as raw says, about ten witnesses have come forward with statements contradicting the police position.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 5 2009 16:58

Good to see the facts coming out about this. It was all too predictable that the police were the culprits. Their policing on Wednesday was hugely disproportionate from the perspective of maintenance of public order (not that that's what I'm advocating, and discussion of proportion WRT state force is always problematic, but y'see my point). The eviction of that squat on Thursday was frankly bewildering to watch: 100 odd riot cops and 3 armoured personal carriers for about 30 sleepy insurrectionists.

It's quite clear that the Met were on a mission to demonstrate their utter superiority and send a message to would-be revolters as the UK starts to show signs of an upsurge in class struggle.

raw
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Apr 5 2009 17:45

For once Alan I agree with you. people shouldn't underestimate the excessive policing which was used and the states desire to show others whose boss. One day those same riot squads will be evicting occupied factories.

Mark.
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Apr 6 2009 11:50

Police briefly delaying ambulance
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6f0S6PPLI8Q&feature=related

More witness statements
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/06/g20-protest-police-assault

Quote:
A riot officer came up behind him and grabbed him. It wasn't just pushing him - he'd rushed him. He went to the floor and he did actually roll. That was quite noticeable. It was the force of the impact. It was all from behind. The officer hit him twice with a baton [when he was] on the floor. So it wasn't just that the officer had pushed him - it became an assault. And then the officer picked him up from the back, continued to walk or charge with him, and threw him. He was running and stumbling. He didn't turn and confront the officer or anything like that.
Anna Branthwaite, 36, freelance photographer, south London

I saw a man approaching the police line from my right. He was quite tall with a beer belly and short hair. I later recognised him from a picture. He was on his own. He walked up to the police across the Royal Exchange Building, towards the centre left of their line. He did not appear drunk - he was walking normally. I saw him suddenly as though flung down with force. It was as though he had been spun. He fell and hit the top of his head hard. I was shocked. He lay on the ground for around 30 seconds without moving before a protester helped him up. The police did not help him at all.
Kezia Rolfe, 27, NGO researcher, Stoke Newington

Police got into scuffles with people. They were pushing the line forward. When he got hit, police were coming forwards. He got hit near the head with a baton. I saw him fall so I moved back. But I saw him on the floor and someone picking him up - that's when I took the picture. After that, I was taking pictures of police and the dog line, and a girl came and said 'This guy needs help'. He was further back down the road.
Amiri Howe, 24, actor/musician, west London

Appeal for witnesses from Ian Tomlinson's daughter (from comments following the previous Guardian story)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/05/g20-protest-ian-tomlinson?showallcomments=true

Quote:
I am Stephanie Tomlinson, Ian Tomlinson's Daughter
I would like to post you comment about the Facts .
Having to open a newspaper and seeing your dad in such a bad way is extremely heartbreaking. Ian had 4 daughters from 19 years old, 18 years old, 16 years old (me) & 15 years old. He also has a 2 months old Grandson which he didnt get the chance to meet. He had 5 Step children who loved him dearly and took to him as their dad.

What you read in the newspapers are false but some is very true. My dad was not a protester, he was simply walking through on his way home from work, he worked helping out on a paper stool outside the Embankment train station with his Best mate Barry. The press hasnt made it easy at all but they could have the vital evidence we need to make clear what actually happened to my dad.

I have wrote this comment to make clear my dad was not a protester and we want to make an appeal for vital eye witnesses to come forward and have your say because at the end of the day we want justice for our dad and we want to lay him to rest now. Thank you.

Big Brother
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Apr 6 2009 13:16

Appeal for witnesses from Ian Tomlinson's daughter (from comments following the previous Guardian story)
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/apr/05/g20-protest-ian-tomlinson?showallcomments=true

Quote:
I am Stephanie Tomlinson, Ian Tomlinson's Daughter
I would like to post you comment about the Facts .
Having to open a newspaper and seeing your dad in such a bad way is extremely heartbreaking. Ian had 4 daughters from 19 years old, 18 years old, 16 years old (me) & 15 years old. He also has a 2 months old Grandson which he didnt get the chance to meet. He had 5 Step children who loved him dearly and took to him as their dad.

What you read in the newspapers are false but some is very true. My dad was not a protester, he was simply walking through on his way home from work, he worked helping out on a paper stool outside the Embankment train station with his Best mate Barry. The press hasnt made it easy at all but they could have the vital evidence we need to make clear what actually happened to my dad.

I have wrote this comment to make clear my dad was not a protester and we want to make an appeal for vital eye witnesses to come forward and have your say because at the end of the day we want justice for our dad and we want to lay him to rest now. Thank you.

Thanks for that I been wondering where this statement was coming from.

Quote:
paper stool outside the Embankment train station

I thought I seen him working there as I go past that stall a many a times and Embankment a long way from the Bank of England.

Big Brother
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Apr 6 2009 13:25
baboon wrote:
This stinks.

The day after he died there was one report that he was on the floor (conscious) with 5 riot police standing in front of him.. Then the police did a very effective job in ensuring that there was no more information except their spin that he had died of "natural causes". The picture in the Observer today shows him on the floor with five riot police in what looks to me an aggressive stance. On Friday the IPCC (independent my arse) was about to release a statement talking of "a tragic accident". Then, as raw says, about ten witnesses have come forward with statements contradicting the police position.

Independent my ass, I have to agree, I just found out they don't get involved in the investigation it up to the City of London Police who are bound to defend on of their own aren't they. They only get involved if there a pressing need i.e. He is a Brazilian. What kind of involvement they do I have no idea, I still think it's worth sending stuff to them rather than the Police as they bound to "lose it". I sent them another letter today clearing up my other version of events. There's so many rumours it's hard to know what really happen. Some say that he feel twice, some say that he walked 200 yards, some say that he tried to get inside the cordon, some say that he was taken out of the cordon, god knows what else.

baboon
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Apr 6 2009 17:12

I agree with BigB that statements should still be made, copied and sent - the family at least are owed that much.

This is looking mighty suspicious - and so much for the "free press" - going along with the police line or ignoring the story altogether. The complicity of the media and the police, two arms of the state, was evident during the 84 miners' strike and again emphasised over the Jill Dando affair.

If the last police murder is anything to go by, here the CCTV footage will either go missing or be very selective and the half a dozen clockwork oranges involved will be sent away somewhere nice in order to get their stories straight.

I read the bit about the delayed ambulance. Nothing new for the police here; at Hillsborough in 89 they stopped them from coming into the stadium cutting down the possibilities of saving many lives.

Caiman del Barrio
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Apr 6 2009 20:09

That video's awful, is there any proof that it was the ambulance called for Tomlinson? I suppose it's still relevant either way.

I don't think anyone should be surprised about the tissue of lies surrounding his death. Does noone remember de Menezes?

Mark.
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Apr 6 2009 20:59
Caiman del Barrio wrote:
That video's awful, is there any proof that it was the ambulance called for Tomlinson? I suppose it's still relevant either way.

I posted this up assuming it was the ambulance called for Tomlinson but it's possible it wasn't. I suppose people who were there would be able to say whether other ambulances passed through during the day.

Ex-temp
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Apr 7 2009 17:57

The Guardian has just released footage which proves that he was attacked by police just before he died:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/07/video-g20-police-assault

Lying bastards...

baboon
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Apr 7 2009 18:59

The film of what is clearly an assault by the police was made by a city fund manager(!). It shows Ian Tomlinson sauntering along with his hands in his pockets and he's confronted by riot police and dogs. As he turns away from them it looks like he get a wack with a baton on his lower back and still with his back to them a burley uniformed thug launches himself at him and pushes him hard in the back so that he hits the ground with force.

The IPCC nearly wrapped this case up under "natural causes". The rapidly held post mortem also came up with "natural causes" very quickly. The police themselves must have had film of what had happened and they tried, once again, to get away with it. Murderous lying bastards.

Skips
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Apr 7 2009 20:29

Hopefully the use of penning in tactics by the pigs is stopped atleast temporarily. Ian Tomlinson was quite clearly walking away and then that bastard shoved him to the ground. Im so glad that was recorded, hopefully these cunts are held accountable.

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Choccy
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Apr 7 2009 21:27

That os the most depressing and infuriating footage I've seen in a long time.
sad

petey
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Apr 8 2009 02:03

... (also posted it, then saw it was up already)

rottweiler
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Apr 8 2009 05:24

This shows the police for what they fundamentally are: state thugs. Imagine what would be happening right now if the protesters had acted like these animals. The Daily Mail would be going crazy and MP's would be calling for new laws to stop protests in cities and towns. Those bastards have murdered this poor guy and I would like to hope they might pay for it, but they will get away with it.

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Apr 8 2009 06:14
Jack wrote:
I know I shouldn't be shocked, but to see it that blatant is just beyond words.
Mark.
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Apr 8 2009 10:52

Assault on Ian Tomlinson on youtube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HECMVdl-9SQ&feature=channel_page

More witness statements
http://www.u.tv/News/Ian-Tomlinson-death-G20-witnesses-tell-of-dogs-batons-and-an-attack-by-police/9eee4596-df54-43b6-b8d6-4593feac9416
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NgDkN4lETPk&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WTCwQt3zBq8&feature=related

Comments from Ian Tomlinson's family
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/08/ian-tomlinson-family-police-assault

Quote:
The dead man's son Paul, 26, said: "My understanding - I've spoken to Barry who works with him on the Evening Standard stall, is he left there about 7 o'clock. And through CCTV and pictures that I've been shown he got refused access on a number of barricades that police had set up. And the missing jigsaw puzzle was what happened to him when he got into Royal Exchange Passage. I think what we've just seen has answered a lot of questions."

After watching the footage with his widowed mother, Julia, he said: "Now, seeing the video I can say the police did have contact with Ian. Whether that was a cause to his death we are not to know. I am sure we will get to the bottom of it. I think what we've seen has answered a lot of questions. And justice will be justice now." He added: "More evidence is coming out every day and I'm sure this isn't going to be the last."

Mrs Tomlinson, 52, was too distraught to comment. "I'm just lost for words."

The family want investigators to interview the officer who pushed Tomlinson to the ground, and the two dog handlers seen close behind him in the footage. "We want answers: why? Ian clearly had his arms in his pockets and back towards the police. There is no need for them to step in towards him. It clearly shows that Ian did have an altercation. Now we can say, yes he did. Up until now it has been 'if'. But now we've seen it, we want answers."

"Now we've seen this footage, we just want to ask for witnesses. People that [saw] or do have any more footage that can back it up. We'd be grateful for them to come forward."

baboon
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Apr 8 2009 12:06

I agree with rottweiler, state thugs sums them up exactly. It's natural - and right - to feel indignant about this but this is what they are doing every day for their masters.

They've already started the insidious slanders that they've fed to their willing journalist mates. Channel 4 reported two or three nights ago that "he had been drinking". This was the same tack that they used with Jean Charles De Menezes, when the newspapers suddenly reported that he had taken drugs. It was the same with the two innocent guys that they raided and shot one as a terrorist - who turned out to be entirely innocent - the newspapers were full of reports that "child porn" had been found on their computors. They have no compunction in slandering the dead or using the dead for their vile nationalist campaigns. The ruling class has no shame nor morality and will sink to the lowest depths in order to maintain their state. they don't need a conspiracy for this because that is exactly what they are.

The post-mortem of Ian Tomlinson must have taken place in record time. Coroners have shown themselves as very useful to the state recently. Jean Charles was one case, but their observations about the lack of military equipment in Afghanistan and "friendly fire" in Iraq absolutely supports the needs of British imperialism and doesn't at all raise questions about the war from a working class perspective.

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Joseph Kay
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Apr 8 2009 13:31

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7989027.stm

Peter Smyth of the Met Police Federation wrote:
Sometimes it isn't clear, as a police officer, who is a protester and who is not

presumably manslaughter is fine if you hold dissident opinions? confused

Mark.
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Apr 8 2009 23:52

What the police have to say about it ...
http:/...link_broken.../www.ukpoliceonline.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=33373&st=0

Guardian article about news management by police and the IPCC
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-police-assault-ian-tomlinson-g20

Quote:
Around 10.30 am the Tomlinson family attended the scene of the death, where they spoke to the Guardian about allegations he had been assaulted by police. They said they were glad the pictures had come out and wanted more answers. They were concerned about allegations that Tomlinson had been assaulted. They gave the Guardian their names, telephone numbers and address and then attended a church memorial service.

It was then, during the service, that the family's police liaison officer told the Guardian he was extremely unhappy the paper had spoken to them. He told the Guardian's reporter not to contact the family "for 48 hours".

Meanwhile official guidance from the IPCC to another Guardian journalist accused the paper of doorstepping the family at a time of grief. The IPCC guided that the family had been deeply distressed by the newspaper's approach. On the same day the IPCC told journalists from rival publications there was "nothing in the story" that Mr Tomlinson had been assaulted by an officer. On Tuesday night when the video of the assault was released, an IPCC investigator and a City of London officer visited the Guardian's offices in King's Cross to be handed a dossier of evidence. They asked that the video was removed from the website, claiming it was "jeopardising" their inquiry and not helpful to the family.

rottweiler
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Apr 9 2009 18:57

The individual state thug responsible for this murder has now presumably felt pressured enough to own up: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7990423.stm

Like his victim, he must have a name and an address.

rottweiler
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Apr 9 2009 03:41

'Terror raids' deflect attention?

baboon
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Apr 9 2009 12:07

The statement above from JH is revealing.

ITV and Channel 4 news (I think there's some interchange) last night showed more conclusive film of the assault than that of the fund manager's (and that was pretty conclusive itself). Part of the ITV film crew went to Ian Tomlinson's aid as he was on the ground and were hassled by the cops. Channel 4 news last night reported (and showed) that some of its crew were attacked by the police in exactly the same area and around the same time as the murderous assault.

It has taken both these "news" organisations a full 7 days to report this. In fact their original reports after the day talked of the police being congratulated for a good job, and, by the way someone died of natural causes. They even reproduced the appeal from Ian Tomlinson's family for information when they had the smoking gun on film and their own experience of the "good job" done by the police. It took both these news organisations (and the BBC of course) a full seven days to report what happened and this only after clear evidence had already emerged from the public.

The balaclava clad police attacker looks like being a member of the Territorial Support Group, a special paramilitary unit, dispersed among the lesser goons in order to reinforce their aggressiveness. It's similar to the now disbanded Special Patrol Group that clubbed and killed the protester Blair Peach at an anti-nazi demonstration in London 1979.

In the meantime, but connected to my point, it appears that local TV news channels have received an edict telling them to play up troops returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan and give them maximum publicity. In relation to its media (and I don't disdain the role of The Guardian in the instance above) the bourgeoisie doesn't need anything as crude as a "conspiracy" in order to implement and develop its tendency to overt repression and militarism. Far from this tendency being compromised by the economic cris, it is enhanced, propelled by it. Here is a clear example of how the bourgeoisie is organised and is organising: repression and militarism is the order of the day and the bourgeoisie will also use the "democratic" process, will use its "enquiries" into the events above in order to develop on its "bad cop/good cop" strategy. The bourgeosie has absolutely no need of conspiracies, it is far more organised, sophisticated, intelligent and dangerous for that.

The five youngsters arrested in a blaze of publicity a couple of days before the G20 in Plymouth for "explosives linked to the demonstration", have all been released without charge.

They were already bandying around possible targets for the "terrorists" arrested yesterday and maybe they are terrorists. But the point made by rottwieler is generally correct.

Hyperion
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Apr 9 2009 12:24

ITN footage mentioned by Baboon here:

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid1184614595?bctid=18961228001

ernie
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Apr 9 2009 16:58

Good to hear the kids in Plymouth were released without charge. It must have been bloody scary for them, their family and friends: banged up, without charge, and wondering if you are going to spend 28 days in a cell. As Baboon says this cannot be seen as being separate to the polices' actions on the demo: a message to all those who oppose capitalism.

Mark.
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Apr 9 2009 19:57

Statement from the man who helped Ian Tomlinson back to his feet after he was assaulted
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-police-assault-ian-tomlinson-g201

New footage of events after Ian Tomlinson collapsed
http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2009/apr/09/g20-video-ian-tomlinson-death

The Guardian wrote:
The footage, shot by Nabeela Zahir, a 27-year-old freelance journalist from London, contains three important elements to note:

• Police move quickly to push away those protesters and bystanders who were aiding Tomlinson, including a man on the phone to the ambulance service. The ambulance service wanted to be put in contact with the officer, who declined to take the call.

• The reaction of protesters is important. After the demonstration, police accused them of impeding Tomlinson's treatment by subjecting the officers and medics to a hail of missiles. In the video, a missile is seen to be thrown but you can hear someone in the crowd saying: "There's someone hurt. Don't throw anything." This indicates something was thrown, but certainly there was no barrage of missiles on film, and nothing reached the police. A man is also seen, standing with his arms in the air, shouting: "There is someone hurt here. Back the fuck up."

• The riot officers have concealed their faces. Pause at 56 seconds. There are four officers in shot. Three have their face masks pulled half-way up their faces.

Mark.
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Apr 11 2009 00:02

Video of the original police statement
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6060244.ece

Times story about further police violence
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article6060244.ece

Quote:
Sara McAlpine – who said that she had happened to pass a demonstration the following day to mark Mr Tomlinson’s death – sent me an e-mail. There is no way to corroborate her account, except that it tallies with so many others. “This is what I witnessed myself in 15 minutes standing near the Bank of England,” she said. “The police split the protest into two groups on two cornering streets, not letting anyone leave. Suddenly, a policeman threw a punch at the face of a male, who raised his right arm to try and block the punch (no retaliation, merely a block). Immediately, three officers threw him up against the scaffolding, knocked him to the ground and beat him with their batons. They then carried him horizontally away.

“A photographer on the spectator side of the cordon tried to capture it. An officer ran over and grabbed him, trying to force him into the cordon. He escaped but the officer came after him and squared up to him (who was right next to me at this point) shouting, ‘Do you want a piece of this, huh, do you want to come and get some?’ He was then called back by another officer.

“A few minutes later, a girl no more than 10 metres away from me, who was on the front line of the cordon, was suddenly shoved up against a wall and kicked repeatedly by a policeman. He left her as she stayed cowering.”

“At that point, five police surrounded us (as quite a crowd had amassed in horror by now) and told us that we would be arrested if we didn't move along. One guy said he had a right to stand there and watch and the policeman threatened him in no uncertain terms that he would either be arrested or thrown in the cordon if he didn't move. He did. I left.”

Hers was not the only e-mail. Steven McManus, who says he is a barrister and a former special constable, was in Threadneedle Street on Wednesday. “At around 6pm I was outside the Royal Exchange chatting with some officers. I was between the officers and the protesters. The atmosphere was calm and non-confrontational. I shared a few jokes with one officer and was just generally chatting.

“A short while later the line began to move forward. The officers began to shout that we should all move back. I turned towards the crowd and began to move off in that direction. As I was walking away I was struck from behind by a baton and pushed forward towards the steps of Bank Underground.

“I was more than a little shocked at having been hit. The officer who had struck me was one I had been chatting to moments earlier, who knew about my City Police connection, and to whom I had my back turned. I remonstrated with the officer as to why he had hit me – his reply being: “F*** off, move back”. He said he could not help but be reminded of the manner of the attack on Tomlinson.