Freedom of Expression,  UK Politics

State violence

Here’s another camera angle on the assault by a Policeman on Ian Tomlinson. Although the footage is from distance, and partially obscured, I think this makes the attack on Ian Tomlinson look even more appalling.

There is some debate on a Facebook group “Justice for Ian Tomlinson” about the removal of PC numbers from Police uniforms. I had union colleagues who were set upon in a country lane by unmarked Policemen after being stopped on the way to secondary picketing. This happened during the Miner’s Strike in the 1980s. There should be an expectation that Police officers meting out violence on behalf of the state, whether justifiable or not, should be traceable and accountable for their actions. If it is the case that Policemen are deliberately hiding their identification, then that is completely unacceptable and should be seen as a disciplinary offence.

On another note, while it may be true to say that there are some thugs in the Police (and I have friends in uniform who confirm there is still some life on mars) some perspective is needed. This is the action of one man. He may be no more representative of policing, than Harold Shipman is of medical practice. What is perhaps more concerning is the Police’s apparent failure to communicate clearly about incidents and their tendency to give out reassurances and pronouncements about incidents before investigations have concluded. This invariably means they look like they are involved in a cover-up, even if they are not, thus undermining public confidence.

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