The police in Britain are a deeply flawed institution in urgent need of fundamental reform as this case demonstrates and as I have written on here before. Certainly if Ian Tomlinson had died after I had assaulted him I would now almost certainly be in prison, so how come there is one law for citizens and a different law for policemen?
In the late 1990s Simon Harwood was due to face a misconduct hearing over an alleged road rage incident but retired from the Metropolitan Police on “medical grounds” before it could be heard. In 2003 he was allowed to join Surrey Police where he ended up facing a complaint about his alleged behaviour while on duty when he was accused of using excessive force. In 2004 he transferred back to the Metropolitan Police. You really would wonder how and why all this was allowed.
After PC Simon Harwood killed Ian Tomlinson the police tried to cover it up. They denied that Tomlinson had contact with officers before his death, a lie. They said were attacked by “a number of missiles” as they tried to save his life, that “police were bombarded with bricks, bottles and planks of wood” a lie. They chose Freddy Patel as pathologist, whose work had come under scrutiny several times before and who has subsequently been suspended by the GMC for three months for “deficient professional performance”. Even the IPCC, who are supposedly independent investigators lied. Nick Hardwick, chair of the IPCC, said on 9 April there were no CCTV images of the assault on Tomlinson because there were no CCTV cameras in the area. On 14 April, the Evening Standard wrote that it had discovered at least six CCTV cameras in the area around the assault. There is a lot more but you get the idea, the establishment were seemingly doing everything they could to prevent justice and the rule of law.
Amazingly the lies continued at the inquest where PC Simon Harwood said that Mr Tomlinson was obstructing police lines and that he was defiantly facing him. Video evidence shows this not to be true.
Now, quite rightly, PC Simon Harwood will at last face some semblance of justice, but we have to ask is the apparatus of state still so obviously working against this? Also what of the many people in the police and the IPCC who lied and covered up? Are they going to face charges for obstructing the course of justice? If not then why not?
This is a total shame on the police and the opportunity must not be lost for much needed root and branch reform. And a final thought, if Ian Tomlinson had made a secret freemason sign to the police would he still be alive today?