Friday, 20 July 2012

No need for apology

In the news is the police officer who struck Ian Tomlinson in 2009 at the G20 protests. He has been cleared of killing Mr Tomlinson who died shortly after being hit. I wrote about the death of Ian Tomlinson on the 9th April 2009 and this blog would not have been written were it not for the personal videos that were published via The Guardian. I can still remember the baton strike and push which is now deemed as 'reasonable force' even though his death had been ruled as unlawful at the inquest a year ago.

There is something not right when the police officer has a history of violence. There is something not right when the footage showed Mr Tomlinson walking away from the police. There is something not right when the trained police officer cannot recognise this and when he cannot distinguish an aggressive protestor from a member of the general public. There is something not right when a baton strike with a swing that may be seen at the Royal Lytham & St Annes is interpreted as reasonable force.

I don't know how the police officer was cleared of manslaughter but I am really much more certain that matters I raised in 2009 need attention. At the time I was concerned about the anonymity of the police. It took some time before this particular officer came forward. If he had a visible face or a visible police number then there would have been no need for him to come forward as we would have known immediately who he was. Who is responsible for allowing anonymity and why? I can only think that anonymity allows for actions that would not normally be taken.

Last year the police officer apologised "if it is the case that in any way I have caused Mr Tomlinson's death". It now seems that there was no need for an apology as he was just using reasonable force. Perhaps there should be an apology for the apology.

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