In a scenario rather duplicated in recent times, a man’s death was initially attributed by authorities to be due to ‘natural causes’ but the appearance of a video clip has raised an uproar as to the actual cause.
Ian Tomlinson, a 47 year-old newspaper vendor, collapsed on Wednesday evening as scores of protesters gathered near the Bank of England in the City of London. Despite receiving treatment at the scene, medics were unable to save him and Mr Tomlinson was pronounced dead later that day in hospital.
The City of London Police said: “A post-mortem examination found he died of natural causes.(He) suffered a sudden heart attack while on his way home from work.” See here for details.
But the appearance of a video taken by a New York visitor who was at the scene and made available to the Guardian has revealed a different story. See the video here.
According to eyewitnesses, the victim bounced heavily on the ground twice following the assault, remonstrated with the police while on the ground, staggered up and walked away in a stumbling manner and with glazed eyes. He subsequently collapsed 3 minutes later and resuscitation efforts commenced by a police medical team.
The matter is now being investigated by the IPCC, the Independent Police Complaints Commission(http://www.ipcc.gov.uk). This is an independent body comprising of 12 commissioners (who have never served in the police force) which conducts investigations when any allegation against the police is of such significance and probable public concern that the investigations need independent oversight. The Commission also handles appeals by the public about the way their complaint was dealt with by the local force.The whole idea of all this is to increase public confidence in the complaint systems and to make investigations more open, timely, proportionate and fair.
Meanwhile, I will not be surprised if the IPCC request for a second post-mortem – has the possibility of a epidural haemorrhage due to head trauma been excluded? (see my earlier post “What Killed Natasha Richardson-Lessons To Be Learnt”)