Congratulations to the jury at the Ian Tomlinson Inquest. They have highlighted once again the good sense that is almost invariably shown by lay people acting together, whether deliberating as a jury, or voting in elections.
The foreman was clear and succinct:
“Both the baton strike and the push were excessive and unreasonable. As a result, Mr Tomlinson suffered internal bleeding which led to his collapse within a few minutes and his subsequent death. At the time of the strike and the push, Mr Tomlinson was walking away from the police line. He was complying with police instructions to leave Royal Exchange Buildings, the passage. He posed no threat”.
On that basis the jury concluded beyond all reasonable doubt that this was a case of unlawful killing.
Now the “experts” must reconsider their position. The CPS had initially decided not to prosecute but they will now, thanks to the finding of this jury, need to review the case, including whether to prosecute PC Harwood for manslaughter. The Metropolitan Police will also, subject to any criminal prosecution, have to consider whether misconduct proceedings should be brought.
I hope that the Met will also review whether their Territorial Support Group really has the right culture to continue to lead in the way it has on public order. It may be better for a wider range of officers to receive more public order training.