Tomlinson stance ‘threateningly upright,’ inquest told

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The police officer who pushed Ian Tomlinson at the G20 protests in London has told the inquest into his death he was ‘threateningly upright’ before the incident.

PC Simon Harwood, a member of the Metropolitan Police’s specialist Territorial Support Group (TSG), stood by his previous statement in a fashion that would have seen him brutalised in broad daylight had it been policed to his own exacting standards.

He told the inquest, “He remained unremittingly upright during our verbal exchanges and it was quite disconcerting to have cracked him as hard as I could around the legs with my baton, only for him to maintain his upright stance and to turn away in the direction I wanted him to.”

“It would have shown weakness for me to have tolerated his extremely volatile agreement to go back in the direction I told him to go.”

“So I pushed him.”

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“Given how hard I hit him the first time I had to be certain it worked this time, otherwise I would have looked a bit silly wouldn’t I?”

Ian Tomlinson inquest

The Commissioner for the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, said overall he was pleased with how the G20 demonstrations were policed.

“For our force to be the perpetrator of the most significant act of wanton violence on that troubled day in London’s history is undoubtedly an unfortunate quirk of fate.”

“But, you know, its rough out there on the streets.”