London policeman charged over G20 protest death
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
An officer with London's has been charged with causing the death of a man caught up in the in 2009. PC Simon Harwood is accused of the manslaughter of , who died after Harwood hit him with a baton before pushing him to the ground.
Homeless paper-seller Tomlinson was pushed from behind outside theas he walked back from work. He died within minutes. The death was filmed and attracted international media attention.
Last year,, Director of Public Prosecutions for , announced that no charges would be brought due to conflicting medical evidence. That decision was placed under review after an inquest jury ruled last month that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed.
Starmer met with the Tomlinson family today, informing them of his changed decision before thereleased a statement by him. In it, he explained that the inquest evidence had changed his position.
He named two areas in which the inquest has had an impact: One is extra medical evidence and the other is questioning in court to assess conflicting medical evidence from different sources. "But for the inquest, the significant conflicts in the evidence that had previously existed could not have been addressed; and the inquest process, which is less confined than a criminal trial, has allowed a degree of clarity to emerge," said Starmer.
He adds that "the position in relation to the medical evidence about the cause of death has clearly changed," although he cautioned that the prosecution will remain difficult owing to conflicting medical evidence. Starmer continued, saying that "it is clearly in the public interest that criminal proceedings be brought. Accordingly, a summons charging PC Harwood with the manslaughter of Mr Tomlinson has been obtained .... He will appear before [City of Westminster Magistrates' Court] on 20 June 2011."
Related news 
- "British pathologist criticised by General Medical Council" — Wikinews, March 15, 2011
- "British constable may be prosecuted for manslaughter" — Wikinews, August 5, 2009
- "G20 protester dies after collapsing" — Wikinews, April 1, 2009
- Keir Starmer. "Ian Tomlinson: final decision" — , May 24, 2011
- Mark Hughes. "PC to face manslaughter charge over Tomlinson death" — , May 24, 2011
- Paul Lewis. "Tomlinson police officer to face manslaughter trial" — , May 24, 2011