Community activists have condemned the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) decision not to prosecute anyone involved in tragic death of Ian Tomlinson, who lost his life following a police assault during last April’s G20 protests.
The family were told by the director of public prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC, of CPS' decision, which they have slammed as a ‘cover-up' earlier today.
Speaking to press after hearing the decision, Tomlinson's stepson Paul King said; ‘it has been a big cover up and they are incompetent, Kier has just admitted that the police officer assaulted our dad, why isn't there an assault charge?'
Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest, a charity which supports families who have lost loved ones at the hands of police, said: ‘If you can't get a prosecution in this case, what hope is there?'
Condemned CPS decision
Ian Tomlinson is the first person who has died in the context of a heavily policed protest since the IPCC assumed responsibility in April 2004 for investigating deaths following police contact.
There are a number of unique features regarding this case, not least the public scrutiny of police conduct through video/mobile phone footage and how it undermined the police version of events.
There are, however, also striking similarities with deaths in police custody following the use of excessive force and the ability and willingness of the current investigation process to hold the police properly to account for misconduct,' a briefing on the death of Tomlinson by Inquest states.
Activists within the community who have been campaigning for more transparency and accountability around the increasing numbers of black people who have lost their lives while in police custody have come out in support of the Tomlinson family and publicly condemned the CPS' decision.
Commenting on today's decision Sean's sister Samantha Rigg-David from the Sean Rigg Justice and Change Campaign said: ‘I am disgusted by this verdict but I'm not surprised - CPS have got skilled at whitewashing these cases and watering down public opinion, black people have been suffering these injustices for many years. The CPS should realise is that these kind of cases undermines public trust - we don't want to policed by people who will kill innocent people in broad daylight.'
Under investigation for incompetence
Dr Freddy Patel the pathologist who was first put in charge of this case initially ruled that Ian Tomlinson had died of natural causes during the G20 protests.
Reports indicate that Dr Patel is being investigated by the GMC (General Medical Council) for scuppering four other post mortem examinations between September 2002 and January 2005, and has been suspended from the Home Office register of forensic pathologists and barred from examining others who have died suspiciously.
A document released by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) has revealed that further questions have been raised over his examination of Mr Tomlinson.
‘The pathologist on the case is known as a police stooge and he messed it up this case and quite a few others so it was ironic that he was chosen because he is currently being investigated for incompetence. This should not be ignored because it is the conflict between Dr Patel's reports and the other doctors who later examined Tomlinson are part of what the CPS are using as the reason not to prosecute ,' Samantha Rigg-David told Black Mental Health UK.
Speaking about continuing in their fight for Justice Paul King said: ‘We'll go all the way you aint heard the last of us yet. This is not going to die down tomorrow.'
‘At the end of the day if we don't get justice, what chance has anyone else got of getting it? We had a lot of evidence in our favour but it boiled down to one incompetent or bent apologist - all the evidence should have put this police officer away and got him off the street. At the end of the day he gets to go back to work and we go back with no dad,' Richard Tomlinson, said.