Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 25 October 2014

G20 Pc set for misconduct hearing

A Metropolitan Police officer is facing gross misconduct allegations over the incident that led to the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson

A police riot squad officer who escaped prosecution over Ian Tomlinson's death during the G20 protests has been served with gross misconduct allegations.

Pc Simon Harwood will be accused of hitting the newspaper seller with his baton and pushing him to the ground in actions that "inadvertently caused or contributed" to his death on April 1 last year.

He will also be accused of using force that "was not necessary, proportionate or reasonable in the circumstances", and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is consulting on whether to hold the misconduct hearing in public.

Deborah Glass, IPCC deputy chairwoman and Commissioner for London, said: "From the moment the video was published to the world in April 2009, there has been an overwhelming public feeling that the officer seen to strike Ian Tomlinson should be held accountable for his actions.

"I have agreed with the Metropolitan Police Service that the officer should face an allegation of gross misconduct, in that he struck and pushed Ian Tomlinson on April 1 2009, such dangerous actions inadvertently causing or contributing to his death. The officer has been served with the papers to allow the hearing to be held."

She went on: "Because of the gravity and exceptional circumstances of this case, I consider that it may be in the public interest for me to direct that the hearing be held in public. I have therefore begun the required process of consulting the necessary parties. These include the Tomlinson family, the officer himself and any witnesses, before I make a decision."

The allegations against Pc Harwood state that he struck Mr Tomlinson on his left thigh with his baton, and that he pushed him to the ground. They also state that such "dangerous" actions inadvertently caused or contributed to the man's death.

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