23 Aug 2009
from the Morning Star
Police notebooks show extend of G20 brutality
Sunday 23 August 2009 by Paddy McGuffin Printable Email
G20 riot officers' notebooks lodged at the High Court have shown the brutality inflicted on peaceful demonstrators during the protests in April.
The notebooks reveal how officers punched people in the face and beat others with riot shields.
The books, which have been lodged as evidence in an action brought by three protesters, also disclosed how Metropolitan Police were given no restrictions on the use of force when they were ordered to move protesters attending the Climate Change camp in the City of London on April 1.
In one notebook, a police constable recounts how when he saw a protester pushing against officers' shields: "I punched him in the jaw and he moved backwards."
Another officer describes how he hit people with "shield strikes both flat and angled," as well as "open palm strikes to a number of individuals and fist strikes as well."
The logbook revelations are included in court documents lodged in a legal challenge by Bindmans Solicitors on behalf of three Climate Camp protesters.
Frances Wright, a member of the Climate Camp's legal team, said: "Having read all the documents that the police have disclosed so far, I still don't know who ordered force to be used at 7pm or why it was needed.
"The violence that Ian Tomlinson experienced was not an isolated example and the result of a few bad apples, as the police would like us to believe.
"An attitudinal change is needed."
Bindmans solicitor John Halford said that there was a chilling absence of a single recorded instruction to those officers about when they could use force and what would be reasonable, given that this was a peaceful demonstration.
"In the absence of such instructions, many officers apparently behaved as if they had been unleashed on a rioting mob.
"If they were instructed to use violence in the way they did, that was unlawful. But the failure to prevent this from happening was an equally serious dereliction of their senior officers' duties," he said
A Met spokesman said: "Every officer is accountable under law and fully aware of the scrutiny that his action can be held open to. The decision to use force is made by the individual police officer and he must account for that."
He added that the use of "kettling" was a "recognised tactic in public order policing."
Posted by Derek Wall at 8:07 pm