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Police Officer who struck Ian Tomlinson has 'no case to answer'

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  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm beginning to think it might be better to give us all an IQ test first......

    Yes, absolutely.

    Recruitment standards for the Police are already too low - there are no formal educational qualifications except a written test. The demands of modern Policing require a diverse set of applied skills and abilities which I would argue is comparable with other professions and should be valued as such.

    This is of course only part of the solution, but the problem is that, as Skive points out, while the majority of coppers are good, the proportion that break the rules and cover up for their colleagues is far more than 'the odd one' - and some forces are much better than others - the Met has an endemic problem that stretches back to the very roots of the institution.

    Key to this is that Officers have to take some responsibility. If they are not checking their colleagues - if they are not concerned with accountability - if they are not seen to have a concern with freedoms and rights then they will not (and should not) be respected.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    More recently police violently attacked many people unprovoked at an EDL demo in Dudley see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n1IpcLVR9Y
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Goldsword wrote: »
    More recently police violently attacked many people unprovoked at an EDL demo in Dudley see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n1IpcLVR9Y

    Though amusingly from the accent of the speaker, if he's English I'm a Dutchman
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    By the way the number of the officer who hit a woman unprovoked on that demonstration is 3306. Now is there going to be any action taken against this officer for committing a crime of violent assualt against a member of the public?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Goldsword wrote: »
    By the way the number of the officer who hit a woman unprovoked on that demonstration is 3306. Now is there going to be any action taken against this officer for committing a crime of violent assualt against a member of the public?
    I don't yet know the answer to this, but I sure as heck know which side my bet would be on.

    Another whitewash coming up, no doubt.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Though amusingly from the accent of the speaker, if he's English I'm a Dutchman

    Or an Irishman ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Goldsword wrote: »
    By the way the number of the officer who hit a woman unprovoked on that demonstration is 3306. Now is there going to be any action taken against this officer for committing a crime of violent assualt against a member of the public?

    "Hit" or pushed?

    Seriously, that is what you described as police "violently attacking" people? Maybe I missed that part. I saw the police moving a group of people back. Everytime they stepped back, the police moved forward... they used their shields to push people back a little further.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    MoK wrote: »
    Or an Irishman ;)

    Pedant :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Goldsword wrote: »
    More recently police violently attacked many people unprovoked at an EDL demo in Dudley see this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1n1IpcLVR9Y
    Looks to me like the woman fell over when she bumped into the barrier. Nothing to see here.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That woman was actually pushed over by one of the EDL people.....
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    This is of course only part of the solution, but the problem is that, as Skive points out, while the majority of coppers are good, the proportion that break the rules and cover up for their colleagues is far more than 'the odd one' - and some forces are much better than others - the Met has an endemic problem that stretches back to the very roots of the institution.

    Exactly. The question you have to ask yourself is what percentage of police officers would report a fellow police officer who "went to far" when dealing with a criminal? What percentage would do so if the fellow police officer was also a friend. I suspect a miniscule percentage would not keep quiet. And what percentage of superior officers, if confronted with a report that they thought may constitute a crime, would try to deal with it in-house rather than actually charging them with anything? Again, I suspect almost all of them. It might be a bit different with proper pre-meditated criminal activity, but with something that can be construed as a mistake on the job, I'm not at all confident that anything is ever done in all but a tiny minority of cases. This one was only investigated because a video was leaked to a newspaper. So where were these "majority" of good cops who saw Ian Tomlinson being pushed over, keen to report this crime? There were plenty of police there, and yet not one came forward, or if they did, they were nothing was done by those in power. Is this the majority of good cops we keep hearing about, or was it just bad luck that only the corrupt members of the police happened to be the ones to witness this incident? I think not only should he be facing manslaughter charges, every single police officer that clearly saw this incident and didn't report it should be sacked. And I think those who deliberately misreported the incident should be charged with perverting the course of justice. Every single fucking one of them.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    What they've done is said that because they can't prove beyond all reasonable doubt that he was killed, so why I hear you ask, was a common assault charge not brought? Oh, because of the six month time limit, which expired while the IPCC and the CPS conveniently dragged their feet.

    It's not a huge issue considering everything else that's been discussed, but I've just read this thread and wanted to point out that the IPCC didn't drag their feet - their findings went to the CPS almost a year ago and in plenty of time for assault charges to be brought as this story notes.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Some police I have met have been a'right to be fair, though some of them aren't (I volunteered as an appropriate adult for a while, so sat in interviews).

    I work in another sector where people assume we're all (as it has been so eloquently put) c*nts. A lot of us are actually trying in earnest to do our job and even help people beyond our strict targets and time frames, but some get a power trip from their position and treat people badly.

    The fact the police officer is getting away with this does not surprise me at all.

    I don't really have much else to say... I tend to steer clear of police, especially when I am at demonstrations because I've seen some of act up and I wouldn't be able to defend myself if a man attacked me.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    IPCC didn't drag their feet

    It's a good point but I would add one more qualifier, which would be that the Official (manifestly bogus) Met story was readily accepted without question until the video evidence emerged - this should have been investigated from the get go.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apparently the CPS are now considering whether or not Kier Starmer's original decision of 'no prosecution' is tenable in the wake of Patel's suspension:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/03/cps-considers-pathologist-freddy-patel-suspension

    This in the week that Police complaints data has been revealed - top of the list? Rudeness and assault.

    Obviously there are many spurious complaints against Police Officers, but unfortunately even if the vast majority are unsubstantiated; that still leaves a large number of cases in which reputable, peaceful people have had to deal with some of the idiots in uniform that we have (the ones who have stupid Rambo names for each other, who think reasonable force is jumping on and beating up a woman who was not violent or resisting).

    Again, I think this problem will continue until we start having rudimentary educational standards for admission, just like every other public service.

    The Police service is by far the highest paid public sector position you can work in without any formal educational qualifications.

    Elsewhere - (Would you believe it The Mail actually broke this story) but SHOCK OF THE WEEK: Police Officer actually convicted of an assault...

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/05/police-sergeant-suspended-assault-woman

    Not often I agree with a 'most recommended' quote on The Mail web but...
    This is how police brutality is allowed to flourish because the other officers are keeping quiet and typically not protecting the public they are paid to protect

    This is how police brutality is allowed to flourish because the other officers are keeping quiet and typically not protecting the public they are paid to protect

    This quote from the victim is pretty chilling;
    ‘The officers at the hospital wouldn’t let me call my partner, or anyone. I said it was my right and they replied that it might be like that on American TV programmes but not here.’

    She's been assaulted - no other officer is interested in upholding the law.

    Police Officers - if you want respect for your difficult job, start doing it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Apparently the CPS are now considering whether or not Kier Starmer's original decision of 'no prosecution' is tenable in the wake of Patel's suspension:

    Unfortunately it shouldn't make a difference - his examination removed any chance of subsequent examiners being able to prove anything.

    So the autopsy can no longer be used to clear the officer, but there still isn't any evidence that the assault caused the death.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    "Although there have been a total of 13 complaints of assault, none have been substantiated following investigation."

    Anyone at all surprised? As usual, only when there is CCTV implicating one of their number do the police show any interest in actually upholding the law. Can anyone point out one example of a police officer being convicted of assault purely on the evidence provided by other police officers?

    Congratulations to this officer though:
    He praised the officer who had reported the incident, saying she had "performed her duty in accordance with the highest standards expected of a police officer in bringing this unacceptable incident to the attention of another supervisor".

    That's what we want to see more of. The good cops should realise that it will only benefit them in the long run.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    but there still isn't any evidence that the assault caused the death.

    As I understand it the two subsequent autopsies were in agreed with internal bleeding with blunt force trauma being implicated in both; surely that is enough to at least warrant a prosecution?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    UPDATE: officer who assaulted the woman has received a six month prison sentence.

    However, there are several more questions that relate to wider Police conduct:
    The attack happened in July 2008 after Somerville was arrested close to her home in North Colerne, a village between Chippenham and Bath.

    Following a "minor row" with her partner, she had started to drive to her daughter's house in London but then pulled into a layby and listened to some music. It was night and she fell asleep.

    The next morning she was found by police, who apparently assumed she was drunk. She was later told she had refused to give a breath sample but denies this and was not charged.

    Somerville claims a police officer handcuffed her at the side of the road and threw her over the back of a car. She says it was like a scene from a police drama.

    She thought there must have been a murder or terrorist incident and she was a suspect. It even went through her mind that she was the victim of a prank.

    She was driven to Melksham police station where she met custody sergeant Mark Andrews, a 191cm (6ft 3in) former soldier. She asked him why she was there but he told her to shut up and she was taken to a cell.

    This is added to the claim that she was told by other officers while in Hospital after suffering what are pretty horrific injuries that she was not allowed to call her partner because; 'It might be like that in American dramas, but not here'.

    Regardless of the legal issues, if that was the utterance you would be forgiven for thinking that the Officer concerned's underlying attitude was 'Probably deserved it'.

    Such people really do deserve the label of 'filth'.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Worth noting that he was reported by a colleague
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Eventually (and by a female officer, which I would infer is probably also significant) - which is laudable, but I'm worried about the others who stood around and were complicit.

    I am also wondering about what kind of treatment the reporting officer will now face...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I agree. My point being that we should laud those who do the right thing whilst criticising those that didn't...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agreed - and this was a very brave thing to do...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Agreed - and this was a very brave thing to do...

    Unfortunately. It shouldn't be a very brave thing to do, it should be a routine thing to do.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Unfortunately. It shouldn't be a very brave thing to do, it should be a routine thing to do.

    In an ideal world it would be unnecessary rather than routine too
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The world being what it is lets not underestimate how brave this may have been, given the actions of the soon-to-be-former Officer involved...

    On another point, just listening to the guy talking to her though on the video, the way he attempts to clothe completely ridiculous behaviour in pseudo-proper officious language reminds me of so many Officers you see (recall the Kingsnorth video of the woman whose feet were being stamped on while she sat handcuffed & held at the shoulders by another officer, the one who simply responded to the assault by telling her that SHE was being filmed...; all of which was totally unnecessary as she had committed no offence and was released without charge, nor had shown any aggression or offered any resistance, despite which she was then body cuffed and thrown into the back of a van).

    As far as I can gather this guy is the thin and acute end of a much thicker wedge...I do worry that we are going to end up with another tragedy like PC Keith Blakelock before certain sections of the Police learn to behave themselves...and the worst thing is that the victim will most likely be one of the dedicated and proper officers that aren't guilty of these kinds of behaviour.

    UPDATE: might not be the last one from this station either - a lorry driver's case of mistreatment is being investigated by the IPCC apparently...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/sep/08/ian-tomlinson-postmortem-withheld-coroner
    A separate postmortem examination into the death of Ian Tomlinson carried out on behalf of the policeman filmed hitting him at the G20 protests last year has been withheld from the authorities, it has emerged.

    The autopsy, the third on the newspaper seller's body, was jointly conducted by the forensic pathologist Ben Swift at the request of lawyers for PC Simon Harwood, who is shown striking Tomlinson in a video revealed by the Guardian.

    Harwood's lawyers have withheld Swift's report from the Crown Prosecution Service and the Independent Police Commission, citing legal privilege, according to the BBC.

    The CPS confirmed it had not been handed a copy of Swift's report by Ben Swift as it was defence material, so the CPS was "not entitled to see it".

    Paul Matthews, the City of London coroner who carried out the inquest into Tomlinson's death, was also denied access, the BBC reported.

    "I have not so far obtained sight of it," Matthews said of the report. "I simply wish to marker down that I wish to pursue this."

    The BBC said Matthews was pursuing gaining access to the report and claimed he had "doubts" about the decision to withhold it.

    Matthews has defended the use of the controversial pathologist Freddy Patel, who carried out the first inquest. Last week Patel was suspended from practice for three months by the General Medical Council after being found guilty of misconduct in three earlier autopsy cases.

    Matthews said he was unaware of the proceedings against Patel when he was appointed. "He was a fully registered medical practitioner and was also on the Home Office list of accredited forensic pathologists," he said in a statement.

    Patel said Tomlinson died of a heart attack. Swift's joint examination and a second autopsy suggested he died from internal bleeding.

    In July Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, announced that no charges would be brought against Harwood, citing complications surrounding Patel's evidence.

    Well fiddle dee dee, why in the world do you suppose they did that?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Who did what?

    If you mean the defence not sharing the autopsy then it is just as likely that it's because it comes to the same conclusion that Patel did (but has "credibility) as some ulterior motive which is what I think you are insinuating. Therefore they will use it to argue against any of the others... defence is under no obligation to share the information about a defence because it would give prosecution the opportunity to dispute. That's how the UK justice system works, policeman or not.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    If you mean the defence not sharing the autopsy then it is just as likely that it's because it comes to the same conclusion that Patel did (but has "credibility) as some ulterior motive which is what I think you are insinuating.

    Well I don't think its 'equally likely' because the second two pathologists (the primary investigator being Dr. Nat Cary) both came to the same conclusion which was vastly different from Patel, who should not have even been on the Home Office register in the first place as he did not meet the criteria...
    Therefore they will use it to argue against any of the others... defence is under no obligation to share the information about a defence because it would give prosecution the opportunity to dispute. That's how the UK justice system works, policeman or not.

    Yes I realise this; but the point is that when you have a coroner coming out announcing his intention to get his hands on this it seems rather signficant - the fact that it is standard practice to withhold potentially questionable evidence where possible does not detract from the fact that the evidence in question may be just so...

    We will not know until (or if) this comes to court; however I think that it is more likely to be incriminating than redemptive, given the way this case has developed over the past two years - the plot has tended to thicken at every turn...
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