Newspaper seller who died during G20 protests was pushed back by police, say investigators
DailyMail/UK – A newspaper seller who died during the G20 protests had been pushed back by a police line minutes before he collapsed with a heart attack, independent investigators say.
Ian Tomlinson, 47, was trying to walk home from work at a newsagent when he was caught up in the mass protests near the Bank of England on Wednesday evening.
He was not involved in the protests, but CCTV footage shows him being refused permission to pass through a police cordon on his journey home, according to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Collapse: Ian Tomlinson had a heart attack during the G20 protests
He is then seen walking round a corner into Royal Exchange Passage, where witnesses say he was caught up in a crowd being pushed back by police officers, the police watchdog added.
He is later shown walking back on to the main road before collapsing minutes later.
And last night, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said it was managing an investigation by City of London Police into the circumstances of the death, in particular any contact between Mr Tomlinson and police prior to his collapse.
Mr Tomlinson, who was married, was treated by officers after collapsing.
Initially, a police post-mortem examination attributed his death to natural causes.
But this version of events was challenged after witnesses came forward saying they recognised the dead man from photographs published on Friday.
Mr Tomlinson being treated by police on the street
Fight for life: Mr Tomlinson being treated by police on the street
According to statements received by the watchdog, Mr Tomlinson was hit with a police baton and shoved to the ground by officers in riot gear.
A female protester, who does not want to be named, but has already given a statement to the IPCC, said she saw Mr Tomlinson, who lived alone in a bail hostel, being pushed aggressively from behind by officers.
Meanwhile, Amiri Howe, 24, told the IPCC that she recalled Mr Tomlinson being struck ‘near the head’ with a police baton.
Photographs taken by Miss Howe show the dazed newspaper seller being helped from the pavement by a bystander. Commission-spokesman Deborah Glass said: ‘Initially we had accounts from independent witnesses who told us that there had been no contact between the police and Mr Tomlinson when he collapsed.
‘However, other witnesses who saw him in the Royal Exchange area have since told us that Mr Tomlinson did have contact with police officers.
‘This would have been a few minutes before he collapsed. It is important that we are able to establish as far as possible whether that contact had anything to do with his death.
‘The investigation is continuing to look through CCTV footage to see whether the incident-inside Royal Exchange Passage has been captured and we already have a number of witness accounts from the area.’
She appealed for anyone who saw Mr Tomlinson at about 7.20pm to come forward.
Some 4,000 were involved in the protests the day before world leaders gathered for a summit to tackle the global economic crisis.
The demonstrations by anticapitalists, anarchists and environmental campaigners led to increasingly violent confrontations that saw riot police baton-charging protesters who were throwing bottles.