Officer Simon Harwood Won't Be Charged in Ian Tomlinson Death
Simon Harwood, Caught on Video Shoving Ian Tomlinson to the Ground During G20 Protests Escapes Prosecution
After a year of closed-door investigations, the CPS (Crown Prosecution Service) stated that Police Constable Simon Harwood, the police office caught on tape as he beat newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson with a baton and shoved him to the ground during the 2009 London G20 protests will not be prosecuted.
Tomlinson died after the incident. The police initially claimed that Tomlinson died from a heart attack before footage of the police beating emerged on the Internet.
- Ian Tomlinson G20 Death: Officer Steps Forward
- Video of British police assault on a citizen, who died at G20
Critics of the investigation assert that this is no more than a cover-up, and that CPS had no intention of actually prosecuting the offending officer, and the decision is being legally challenged. Said Sarah McSherry of Christian Khan Solicitors, "The news is as unsurprising as it is disappointing."
Had Ian Tomlinson been assaulted by another member of the crowd, as opposed to by a police officer, especially with such clear video evidence, a criminal investigation would be mounted well within a year: of that there can be little reasonable argument.
In a written statement the CPS admitted that there was sufficient evidence to show the officer had assaulted Tomlinson, but claimed a host of technical reasons meant he could not be charged.
Tomlinson's stepson Paul King, flanked by his mother, Julia, said: "It's been a huge cover-up and they're incompetent."
Deborah Coles, the co-director of Inquest, said there had been a "catalogue of failings" at the evidence-gathering stage of the investigation and questioned the way deaths such as this were investigated from the outset. It reflected a "failure to investigate them as potential homicides", she said.