Thursday, 7 April 2011

G20 Policeman Almost Tells The Truth About Why He Lashed Out At Ian Tomlinson

Ian Tomlinson – the passer-by who collapsed and died shortly after being beaten to the ground by Territorial Support Group officer Simon Harwood during the G20 summit in 2009 – had adopted an “almost defiant” posture and was “almost inviting a physical confrontation”, the officer insisted as he gave something which was almost evidence to the inquest into the newspaper vendor’s death.

PC Harwood’s almost-testimony began with the interesting claim that Mr Tomlinson had been obstructing the police line and had not had his back to the riot police when he was pushed to the ground and almost missed with a baton.

PC Simon Harwood: almost a credit to the force
"The problem is that we have video of that day when you were there," pointed out Matthew Ryder QC, representing Mr Tomlinson’s family. "That is rubbish, I suggest to you, PC Harwood, and you know it."

After changing his almost-accurate statement, PC Harwood almost remembered the specific instructions he had received at the Metropolitan Police public order training centre in Gravesend when asked by Mr Ryder: "Does your training tell you if someone is not a threat to you or any other person it is acceptable to baton them? Is that your training?”

“Yes,” replied the almost brave upholder of justice, almost choosing the right answer.

"Someone who has his back to you, you push him with that force, from behind and you didn't expect he might fall to the ground?" demanded Mr Ryder.

Almost grasping the basic physical principles of force, motion and gravity, PC Harwood answered almost heroically: “No.”

Later, under questioning from his own QC, the exemplar of London’s almost finest ably demonstrated that he was almost a reliable witness when he admitted that he found it difficult to distinguish between his recollections of the day and what he had subsequently seen on video footage filmed by bystanders.

The inquest continues.

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