"Significant questions" remain about the behaviour of a police officer who has been cleared of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson during the G20 protests in London, the police watchdog said. The Independent Police Complaints Commission's deputy chairwoman, Deborah Glass, ordered that Pc Simon Harwood will now face Metropolitan Police disciplinary proceedings in public.
Mr Harwood, 45, was acquitted
at Southwark Crown Court of the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson in the City
of London in April 2009. A jury of seven women and five men took 18
hours and 45 minutes to clear him. He cried in the dock and his
wife Helen sobbed as the verdicts were given, before they tearfully
embraced as he was freed. Mr Tomlinson's family also broke down, and
outside court stepson Paul King called the verdict "a joke", vowing to
pursue the issue in the civil courts.
Mr Harwood hit 47-year-old
Mr Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground on the fringes of
the G20 protests. The father-of-nine walked 75 yards before he
collapsed, and died later in hospital from internal injuries. It can now be reported that Mr Harwood faced a string of allegations about his behaviour before he came across Mr Tomlinson.
Glass said: "While the jury has today acquitted Pc Simon Harwood of
manslaughter, it is clear that significant questions remain in
connection with his actions on the day Ian Tomlinson died.
or not those actions were reasonable will be tested further at a
misconduct hearing in September, which I have directed will be held in
public. There are also questions in this case that the Metropolitan
Police Service must answer.
"Pc Harwood was able to retire from
the Metropolitan Police while facing disciplinary proceedings for
previous alleged misconduct towards a member of the public. That he was
then re-employed by the force, first in a civilian role and later as a
constable, is simply staggering and raises considerable concerns about
their vetting procedures."
A group of around 30 demonstrators
staged a protest on the pavement outside Scotland Yard's headquarters in
central London on Thursday night.
Source: Press Association