Thursday, 9 April 2009

G20 Protest

The police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson has come forward. Let's give the officer the benefit of the doubt and say that he did not know that he needed to come forward. The television reports are quite restrained, but basically Mr Tomlinson was walking slowly, hands in pockets near to a line of policemen during the G20 protests when he was struck by a baton and pushed over.

I presume that the inquiry will consider whether the police attack is related to his death minutes later and it should look at the amount of force used and how much provocation was given. The footage that has been seen on TV comes from The Guardian and I am old enough to remember the TV adverts for The Guardian which basically said don't take things for granted. What looks like a yob attacking someone may turn out to be their saviour. Looking at one or two clips of video may not give a full story.

From the footage that was seen, the police officer was wearing a balaclava. Again, let's give the police the benefit of the doubt, balaclavas may be part of police uniform. However there is cause for concern if there are no other means of identifying this officer. Why do the police wear their numbers? The answer is simple. They keep their name anonymous but may be identified. I am not concerned with the amount of violence or the police tactics, although I may be if the inquiry is concerned. Tactics and the levels of violence may have been legitimate. My concerns are that we are training our police to act anonymously for acts that may be indefensible.

Change the world

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