Critics Assail British Police for Harsh Tactics During the G-20 Summit Meeting

The police had geared up for a pitched battle in the streets. It was April 1, the beginning of the Group of 20 meetings, and thousands of officers had been assigned to London’s financial district to control the protesters massing there.
The police had geared up for a pitched battle in the streets. It was April 1, the beginning of the Group of 20 meetings, and thousands of officers had been assigned to London’s financial district to control the protesters massing there. What happened next is the subject of four separate inquiries by different oversight bodies. But some facts are undisputed. A member of the public, 47-year-old Ian Tomlinson, is dead. A police officer faces possible murder charges. More than 180 protesters, some suffering from concussions, broken bones and other injuries, have formally accused the police of excessive force and unprovoked assaults. The police say they acted appropriately in a chaotic situation, despite having officers with little experience in crowd control. But their arguments are not helped by the circulation of videotape taken by protesters and passers-by. The images — of police officers charging at and striking apparently peaceful protesters, among other things — have horrified lawmakers and members of the public and prompted demands for a review of police policy. “The attitude used to be that the British police acted more or less with the sanction of the public,” said David Gilbertson, a former assistant inspector of the constabulary, who until 2001 helped formulate policing policy for the home office. “That attitude has been abandoned. The public is regarded as the enemy.”
Mr. medicare coinsurance Gilbertson said that after a series of violent assaults on officers in the 1990s, the police changed their approach. They dressed officers with new, military-style uniforms, gave land insurance them antistab vests and equipped them with equipment like extendable metal batons car insurance new hampshire and insurance trainer clubs that turn into handcuffs. “You have a whole generation who regard l&g insurance the public health insurance eligibility as building construction insurance a proto-enemy, and that any bond insurance commercial insurance carriers one of them might charge and suddenly watkins insurance produce disco public liability insurance a knife and stab you to death,” life insurance prices he said. The police had churchill car insurance quote a daunting task on April 1, line uk car insurance on with thousands of protesters, ranging from violent anarchists to peaceful environmentalists, pouring into London. Haunted car insurance scams by images of chaotic protests that have accompanied meetings of international leaders around the house insurance australia world, they were direct choice insurance determined to maintain driving instructor car insurance order and contain the crowds. They say they succeeded. “We managed major protests without major disorder and damage to property,” commercial liability insurance Chris car extended warranty insurance Allison, the acting assistant commissioner of pet pals insurance the Metropolitan Police, told a parliamentary committee recently. “The overwhelming majority of officers worked extremely professionally in very difficult times.” But many people believe that they overdid it. Much of the cheapest family travel insurance private flood insurance criticism from that night has focused on benz car insurance mercedes a tactic known as kettling, in which the police corral protesters into small moving insurance spaces and forbid anyone to enter oregon dental insurance plan or leave. The use triumph insurance of kettling at the G-20 protests tended to make even peaceful protesters agitated and defensive, which in turn raised the temperature credit card insurance fraud of the police. Video taken by protesters and independent observers shows lines of police officers in marine liability insurance riot gear principal life insurance dental advancing on people who were confined in kettles and were not fighting back. Much of the video centers on Bishopsgate, a large street that environmental protesters had partly occupied. “It contents insurance checklist was very peaceful and tampa title insurance low cost disability insurance pleasant, with singing, dancing and meditation,” said David Howarth, a member of cheap auto insurance in florida Parliament who tried to mediate between the police and the protesters. All that changed when night fell and the title insurance fee car insurance for young driver police corralled the protesters into a online car insurance quote ontario kettle and then, holding their riot shields in front of them, charged, pushing them into an ever smaller space, said David Cullen, a dental insurance comparison charity worker who was there. “I farm bureau auto insurance saw officers striking people with their shields and their fists,” he said. “There was car insurance orlando a guy california auto insurance laws bleeding from the head, he was hit so many times. I saw a girl hit five times tompkins insurance on the head by a police officer, and buy insurance car cheap online she was sent to the hospital with a concussion. You would point out officers who you car insurance quote student think were hitting people, and they either ignored us or defended motorcycle insurance ny their colleagues.” Ordered by the police to stand up, Mr. Cullen refused. dental insurance in georgia Then, he said, an coral insurance officer yanked him to his feet by his hair, shouted into his denied disability insurance ear that mc edwards insurance he was going to break Mr. Cullen’s neck, handcuffed him with his hands high up behind his back, pushed san francisco car insurance him into a van and arrested midland national insurance him. newark auto insurance renters insurance coverage “It isn’t a question of travel insurance cancer a few misbehaved police officers,” he said. “There’s a culture of impunity. Some are violent. Others are abetting them or covering up for them.” Police off road vehicle insurance officials have car insurance low cost said that they are examining videos business insurance agency from insurance online term that day, some of which appear to show the sort of scenes tow truck insurance Mr. Cullen is talking about. “I’ve said from the very outset that those video images boaters insurance were a real concern and they should be thoroughly investigated,” the Metropolitan Police commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson, told a parliamentary committee. But he declined vespa scooter insurance to go further, saying he did massachusetts disability insurance not want to prejudice the investigations. Mr. Howarth, the member of Parliament, said that he telephoned an officer in pc travel insurance charge of the area, demanding an explanation. The officer told him that they were clearing the demonstration because the protesters were blocking the road. “That’s a bizarre explanation,” Mr. building trade insurance Howarth said, given that the protesters had been blocking the road without trouble for much of the day already and had promised to leave in the morning. He added: “And to do auto muscle car auto insurance home property insurance that, you’re beating people car card insurance master rental up? It just international business insurance doesn’t after the event legal insurance make any sense vessel insurance at all.” The case off road motorcycle insurance of Mr. Tomlinson is even harder to square with the florida home owner insurance company electronic insurance billing police’s kentucky long term care insurance stated goals of expat health insurance maintaining order. He was not a protester; he was a newspaper vendor who had reached the end of his shift and was trying to get home. A member of the public captured his confrontation with the police on a video. In the video, Mr. Tomlinson is seen talking to an officer and 20th century auto insurance then walking away, his hands in his pockets. A moment later, the officer strikes Mr. Tomlinson insurance management consultants from behind and shoves him roughly to the ground. life insurance application Mr. Tomlinson gets up and begins to trike insurance weave unsteadily forward, helped by passers-by as the police look on. In property insurance france another video, taken by Channel 4 News, life insurance on line quote Mr. Tomlinson mental health insurance parity is seen apparently being european breakdown insurance struck fiercely senior citizen holiday insurance with a baton from behind by the same officer. Moments later, Mr. Tomlinson would collapse and jackson life insurance die. An independent autopsy auto insurance discount rates has shown low cost holiday insurance that he had commercial insurance ohio blood in his abdomen, contradicting a auto insurance in Georgia police-sanctioned autopsy that said he had died of a heart attack. The officer who pushed him has scooter insurance online quote been suspended, is being investigated by the Independent southern owners insurance Police Complaints Commission and may be charged with manslaughter. The commission is term life insurance calculator also formally investigating four other cases where protesters say they were assaulted by the police, including that of one woman struck on the business insurance virginia face and legs, whose confrontation was captured on video. emergency travel insurance Tom Brake, a member of Parliament, said that what car insurance riverside happened at the G-20 protests was not surprising. “It seems as though they are now compare caravan insurance adopting a policy that says almost every protest is illegal,” motorcycle insurance ottawa dog insurance comparison he said. He pointed to what happened last August in Kent, where environmentalists occupied a piece of land for a week to protest a nearby medical insurance in New York coal-fired power plant. Some 1,500 police officers turned the site into ne car insurance a virtual prison camp in an operation that cost cheap car insurance for students nearly $9 million. According to a BBC account, the police stopped and searched anyone who entered or left. They confiscated individual dental insurance michigan items they deemed potentially dangerous including, protesters told the BBC, a bar of soap, a flip car cheap insurance ireland chart, braces insurance a pair of social security supplemental insurance tweezers, a clown outfit, a car insurance oregon key chain, crayons, pens and a bicycle lock. They also refused to allow journalists or independent observers to enter, and they advanced on the crowd with natural disaster insurance batons and riot shields, while the crowd chanted, “This is not car inexpensive insurance a pet insurance horse riot.” The report shows the BBC crew in a confrontation discount boat insurance with the police. Then the scene goes fuzzy, auto insurance texas while a voice says, “This camera has been smashed by a police baton.” The police said that 70 officers were injured in travel insurance price comparison the course of the operation. limited liability insurance But it later emerged that none of the injuries had to do with the protesters, but included bee stings, being hit on the leg while opening a car door, heat yamaha motorcycle insurance exhaustion, toothaches and diarrhea.

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