in ,

George Floyd and Ian Tomlinson — A tale of two police killings

In spite of the hysteria generated over the killings of black Americans, as pointed out here recently the police kill more whites than blacks, far more. Unjustified police killings in the UK are far, far less frequent, not just because of its far smaller population but because we are not obsessed with guns. Here as in the US, the deaths of blacks generate far more outrage than those of whites, but there was one notable exception, and the parallels with the death of George Floyd (pictured) are striking.

On April 1, 2009, there were massive protests in the capital against the G-20 summit, and the police were out in force. Ian Tomlinson was not involved in those protests; he was a man of 47 who looked ten years older. A member of the underclass, he had been married twice, but had been separated from his second wife for over a decade. He struggled with alcoholism and was living at the Lindsey Hotel, in reality a homeless shelter that closed the following year.

Ian Tomlinson did some casual work distributing newspapers, and at the time of the assault, he was trying to get home but found the route blocked. As he walked, hands in pockets, with his back to a line of police officers clad in riot gear, one of them stepped forward and assaulted him. Here is the video.

As the reader will see, unlike the George Floyd case, the thug in uniform had not the slightest pretext for committing this assault. On a younger man, or a fit man of the same age, that assault would have had no consequences for the victim, and in the absence of citizen phone footage, it would have had no consequences for the assailant either. Ian Tomlinson was helped up, but a minute or so later he was back on the ground, this time without external assistance. He was dead within minutes.

Then the police did what they always do, they lied, and when they couldn’t lie, they obfuscated. In this case, they brought in their pet pathologist to perform the post-mortem/autopsy, who decided (ie was told to find) the victim died from a heart attack.  Contrast this with the initial pronouncement from prosecutor Michael Freeman in the George Floyd case who said there was no guarantee criminal charges would follow. They certainly wouldn’t have if the incident hadn’t been filmed, in spite of a crowd of witnesses.

In the Ian Tomlinson case, his family persisted, and his assailant was eventually brought to book after an inquest ruled the death an unlawful killing. Simon Harwood had a chequered career as a police officer, to put it mildly. He had served with the Metropolitan Police until 2001 when he was allowed to retire on health grounds while awaiting a disciplinary hearing for an off-duty incident. His health soon recovered however, and he was allowed to join Surrey Police, who are just as corrupt as the Met. Then he rejoined the Met, apparently with no qualms about his record, and he would end up policing in riot gear.

Because of the delay over the inquest and the voluminous internal reports, it took three years to bring Harwood to trial. He was tried only for manslaughter, and the jury properly returned a verdict of not guilty, but clearly he was morally responsible for Ian Tomlinson’s death. He was sacked by the Metropolitan Police in September 2012, and of course he had been suspended on full pay all that time.

The acknowledged killer of George Floyd will not have such an easy ride; he has already been sacked, and his wife is filing for divorce while he languishes behind bars until he can raise the half million dollar bond.

The  death of Ian Tomlinson had a sequel which in other circumstances would be amusing. The anti-G-20 protests continued the following day, by which time everybody knew what happened, and the protesters were rightly angry. This led to a confrontation between a diminutive Nicola Fisher and another thug in uniform. In spite of his two assaults on her being caught on camera, he was acquitted by a magistrate the following year. This might have been due to Miss Fisher selling her story to the publicist Max Clifford then failing to turn up for the trial. Nicola Fisher is white; her assailant who goes by the name Delroy Smellie, is black.  If the penny hasn’t dropped yet, here it is in black and white: this hysteria about police violence is not about race, it is about power. Like politicians and many others in our society, police officers are given special powers of necessity. When they abuse those powers, they must be held to account, whatever colour they are, and whoever they are.

Help us grow. Support The Duran on Patreon!

Report

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.

What do you think?

Avatar
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
12 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ciaran Goggins
June 3, 2020

Wasn’t Freddy Patel the disgraced doctor involved? Doctors about to be struck off are hired by plod.

Ciaran Goggins
Reply to  TheDarkMan
August 20, 2020

When I was arrested by Herts Police for the attempted rape of a young student at Hertfordshire University in 2004, who had became unconcious following a drinking session and whom I should have been keeping an eye on. The police who arrested me ask if I would like to be seen by a doctor. Little did I realise that the true purpose was to take intimate samples of my hair, pubes,penis and finger nails and saliva for DNA and not examine me for the injuryI had sustained in try to have sex.

Ian McKenna
Ian McKenna
Reply to  Ciaran Goggins
October 4, 2020

Was the young student a male by any chance?

David Bowlas
David Bowlas
June 3, 2020

Not much news about the unarmed disabled Palestinian man shot dead by the Israeli police.
 
Thought the BBC would have this splashed all over the news but they are too involved with the other happening in the USA.

Ciaran Goggins
Reply to  David Bowlas
September 15, 2020

Speaking as a firm supporter of Donald Trump I feel that all the BLM support should be withdrawn and that all the Uppity complainers given a good going over by law enforcement. It is a fact that Blacks kill more blacks than Whites and more White are killed annually by Blacks.

Jamie J
Jamie J
June 5, 2020

I think you’re spot on about Ian Tomlinson’s murder but don’t believe the current protests against police violence are hysterical and would perhaps add a word to your conclusion… police violence is not just about race, it is about power. 

Ciaran Goggins
Reply to  Jamie J
August 20, 2020

Might I just add that when I was active on the Rent Boy scene when I was just a young and impressionable muse dabbling in male prostitution in the West End of London back in the day. The majority of Police Cuntsables I dealt with were really quite rough and some even refused to pay!

Ian McKenna
Ian McKenna
Reply to  Ciaran Goggins
September 30, 2020

Goggins you sad case. Are you still Britains oldest school leaver? Just think you can retire in another nine years time if you are still alive which I very much doubt. I see you are still filling your blogge with garbage and writing comments yourself and pretending they are from readers? Did you know that JR wrote a statement for IH that helped him with massive damages from NI? Of course you didn’t you Plumb.

Ciaran Goggins
Reply to  Ian McKenna
October 4, 2020

That would not surprise me in the least, my research recently revealed that Jonathan Rees was at one time a registered police informant for the MPS…… Incidentally having been an informant myself for the PSNI following compromising images being found on my computer I was given the choice of assisting them infiltrate young Muslim groups in Belfast along with RIRA groups in Co Fermanagh. I did not want to, but it was either cooperate or get banged up and nonces do not get an easy ride in prison. I can still remember the torture my father Sean suffered.

Ian McKenna
Ian McKenna
Reply to  Ciaran Goggins
October 5, 2020

I see from your LinkedIn entry you are still claiming to have served in the Royal Intelligence Corps which as you know is a complete lie. You were a Private in the Territorial Army Royal Army Medical Corps for barely six months before you were thrown out for having lied about yourself and your past in your references.

Appeals court mulls making Hillary Clinton testify on emails

Twitter adds warning label to Gaetz tweet on antifa for glorifying violence