Friday, 17 April 2009

Why Ian Tomlinson died?

"Why Ian Tomlinson died?" is asking Indymedia 5/04/09.
It was before the second postmortem examination revealed there was no heart attack - Read Times Online 18/04/09: Beaten G20 man Ian Tomlinson died of 'internal bleeding'. Not mentioning the police in the headline is at that point some kind of light - but still disgraceful - bias.

Internal bleeding, heart attack, etc. are not the first cause of death.
First cause is being beaten by the police.

Why Ian Tomlinson died?

Certainly not because his heart was fragile.
Certainly not because of bad luck.

Ian Tomlinson died because he was not wearing a banker suit.

Jean-Charles de Menezes died because he was neither white nor blond.
Looking like an Arab - strange idea in a context of global war on terror.

Moral of these unfortunately true stories:

Being an Arab (= terrorist), an Asian, a Black person
A working-class person, black, white, red, blue or whatever
Can dangerously increase your chances as an innocent person to be killed by the Metropolitan police in London.

by Charlotte Middlehurst and Dominic Sullivan
New Statesman 16/04/09

15 June 1974
Kevin Gately, 20, died when demonstrators from Liberation and the National Front clashed with police in central London. The cause of death, alleged to be a blow to the head from a police truncheon, was never proved.

23 April 1979
Blair Peach, a schoolteacher from New Zealand, died at an anti-National Front demonstration. Eyewitnesses reported that he was hit over the head by a policeman, but no inquiry took place.

5 October 1985
Cynthia Jarrett’s death from a heart attack, as police searched her north London home, caused outrage and sparked the Broadwater Farm Riots.

28 July 1993
Joy Gardner, an illegal immigrant, died of a brain haemorrhage during a raid on her flat. Three policemen were tried for her manslaughter, but were later acquitted.

16 December 1994
Shiji Lapite asphyxiated in a police van in east London. The inquest recorded a verdict of unlawful killing. No charges were brought.

8 May 1995
Brian Douglas died after police fractured his skull with a baton while arresting him in south London. A verdict of death by misadventure was recorded.

5 December 1995
Wayne Douglas died in police custody after his arrest. A ruling of accidental death sparked riots in Brixton, but a fresh inquest was ruled out in 1998.

16 March 1996
Ibrahima Sey, an asylum-seeker, asphyxiated in custody. An inquest returned a verdict of unlawful killing. Those involved were neither disciplined nor prosecuted.

21 August 2008
Sean Rigg collapsed in custody at Brixton Police Station and died two hours later. His case raised questions about police treatment of the mentally ill. The investigation is still open.

22 March 2005
The charity worker Simon Murden was shot dead driving the wrong way up a dual carriageway. An inquest ruled officers were justified in firing at him.

22 July 2005
Jean Charles de Menezes was shot eight times in the head at Stockwell Tube station. The inquest reached an open verdict and no officer has been charged.

1 April 2009
Ian Tomlinson died of a heart attack during the G20 protests. Initially the police reported no contact with Tomlinson; video footage later showed he had been pushed to the ground by police in riot gear.