15 August 2009
The family of Ian Tomlinson has accused the City of London police, Scotland Yard and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) of trying to prevent them from speaking out about the circumstances of his death.
Tomlinson collapsed and died April 1, minutes after two unprovoked assaults from behind by a balaclava wearing police officer and member of the Metropolitan Police’s Territorial Support Group (TSG).
Tomlinson, a newspaper vendor, was attempting to return home for the evening. His route took him through a police operation directed against demonstrators opposing the G20 summit of world leaders then taking place in London. The summit was the centre of a huge security operation, “Glencoe”, involving up to 5,000 police and a number of police forces.
Tomlinson’s wife Julia told the Guardian about how news of her husband’s death was delivered: “It was half past four in the morning—a knock at the door, and Stephanie, the second youngest daughter, answered the door…”.
“There were two police officers standing there…they said, ‘Have you heard about the G20?’ I said, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’.
“They said, ‘If you’d like to sit down, then we’ll explain to you. And they said, ‘Your husband was caught up in the G20 riots, and he suddenly collapsed and died of a heart attack’.