I have never been one to retreat from my views without good reason, however, it is clear that my previous post on the death of Ian Tomlinson requires updating. I had previously stated that I did not believe a shove and/or a baton strike were likely to have caused a heart attack. In the light of this I stated that I did not believe it right to prosecute the individual officer. Following the news today that Mr Tomlinson did not die of a heart attack but from abdominal bleeding my positon has changed.
There will now, rightly, be an investigation into whether the officer is guilty of manslaughter. The fresh evidence considerably increases the likelihood that the police assault was responsible for Mr Tomlinson’s tragic death. The investigation will be complex and determining causation will be tough. It is a matter for the experts who need to consider the facts dispassionately. I do not feel it is appropriate to pass further comment on the matter whilst the police investigation is ongoing. My previous views were based on clearly mistaken evidence and I hope they do not now seem disrespectful to the family of Mr Tomlinson. This news must add to the unimaginable grief and anger his family must be feeling at this time. If the officer is prosecuted, the G20 protests will represent a very dark day indeed in the history of the police.