Tuesday, April 05, 2011

How a man died after being attacked by cop in G20 protest

PC Harwood, the police man who struck Ian Tomlinson is in the witness box today and it reveals just how bad a cop is at covering his own arse. Take just these few points:

10.38am: On to the scene seconds later, and we see footage of Harwood with his back to Royal Exchange Buildings, standing beside a handful of other officers he did not know.Harwood said the crowd was "very hostile", although I'm not quite sure the footage alone shows that.
"I was aware of a large number of objects being thrown," he said. "I believe I got hit on the back of the head by an object at the time, by a protester."
Asked by Hewitt where the object was thrown from, Harwood said it came from behind him. When Hewitt pointed out he had his back to a building, Harwood said the object was thrown at him moments before that.

10.34am: An important development. Another camera angle, and the jury is being shown footage of Harwood knocking into a BBC TV cameraman, Tony Falshaw. The footage shows Falshaw falling to the ground.In his initial statement, Harwood said he "collided" with the cameraman. In contrast, Falshaw described being "pulled" to the ground by the officer.
Having watched the footage again, Harwood accepted he pulled the BBC cameraman to the ground. He said his balaclava and helmet impeded his peripheral vision, so he did not see Falshaw's camera. He said he turned to "keep him [Falshaw] away from myself".

10.25am: The jury is being shown footage of this moment. In the days after Tomlinson's death, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) claimed there was limited CCTV in the area. It was one of the explanations given for not opening a full investigation into Tomlinson's death for almost a week.
But this inquest is suggesting the opposite: almost every relevant moment has been captured, albeit much of it on cameras and mobile phones held by bystanders and handed to the Guardian or uploaded on to YouTube.


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