Police on backfoot after second G20 video released
By Ian Dunt
The police have been forced to deny claims they misled the public after a second video of officers beating Ian Tomlinson just before his death emerged.
This afternoon, the police officer seen hitting and pushing Mr Tomlinson was suspended from the force.
The video, which was handed in to Channel 4, shows an officer hitting Mr Tomlinson with a baton, just before he pushes him to the ground, at last week’s G20 protests.
The baton technique employed is designed to drop someone to the floor, and it appears the officer decided to push him over after the technique failed.
A chorus of disapproval from commentators and the public following the release of the video – the first of which was revealed by the Guardian yesterday – has now prompted a denial of any attempt to mislead by the police.
When Mr Tomlinson’s death was originally announced on April 1st, the police said he had had no contact with the police.
A statement also claimed the police were pelted with projectiles while they tried to save him. The evidence released to the public so far greatly downplays that claim, with only one plastic bottle visibly thrown.
“It is now clear that Mr Tomlinson did come into contact with police prior to his death and that a number of the officers depicted in the footage on a national newspaper’s website have identified themselves as MPS officers,” a Metropolitan police statement said today.
“To clarify, there has been no denial from the MPS that this was the case, nor any deliberate intent to mislead.
“This is information that could only have been known as the investigation progressed as this was not known at the time of providing medical aid to Mr Tomlinson.”
Mr Tomlinson died from a heart attack minutes after the apparent assault.
The officer who struck Mr Tomlinson appears to have come forward very shortly after the IPCC announced it was still trying to establish the identities of the groups of policemen featured in the films.
The officer in question has now been suspended.
“A total of four officers, inclusive of this officer, have now come forward with potentially relevant information in relation to the investigation into the death of Mr Tomlinson,” he said.