Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Another brutal British cop

That he hid his identity shows his thuggish intentions

THE Metropolitan Police are examining new footage of alleged violence by an officer at the G20 demonstrations this month. Video material and still photographs appear to show an officer swiping at a woman with the back of his hand before drawing an extendable baton and striking her on the legs.

The woman can be heard on the audio track to the video shouting and swearing at the policeman before he raises his arm. The officer's face is visible but his number, unlike those of his colleagues in the pictures, is hidden. The shoulder epaulettes on his jacket look to have been covered up by strips of grey material.

Scotland Yard said that the actions of the officer in the video raised "immediate concerns" and a spokesman said that it would urgently identify the officer. He also said that the Metropolitan police was referring the incident to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). The incident is also likely to be raised next week when Scotland Yard commanders are questioned at the Metropolitan Police Authority about the policing of two days of demonstrations around the G20 summit.

It is understood to have happened at about 3.30pm on April 2 - the day after the main G20 Meltdown protest when demonstrators smashed windows in a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Protesters had again gathered close to the Bank of England. Activists have posted an appeal on the internet for witnesses to the incident involving the policeman and the woman to come forward, with a view to complaining to the IPCC.

A Met spokesman said: "Every officer is accountable under law, and fully aware of the scrutiny that their actions can be held open to. The decision to use force is made by the individual police officer, and they must account for that. "The City of London Police is now carrying out a full post-event investigation into crimes committed that day, processing the 124 arrests, and identifying outstanding suspects. "Where through viewing material this investigation highlights what is believed to be excessive force by officers the Directorate of Professional Standards will be made aware." The commission has also seen the footage of the incident involving the police officer and the woman.

A spokesman said: "The IPCC has received a number of complaints from members of the public about the actions of police officers at the G20 protests. We are assessing the most serious ones to decide whether it is appropriate for the IPCC to investigate further."

The commission is leading the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the death the previous evening of Ian Tomlinson, 47, a newspaper seller who had a heart attack minutes after being pushed to the ground by a riot policeman.

David Winnick, a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee, called on Jacqui Smith, the Home Secretary, to make a statement to the Commons about the latest footage. Mr Winnick said: "What we have here is outright police brutality which cannot be justified."

Original report here

(And don't forget your ration of Wicked Thoughts for today)

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