Ian Tomlinson, a man walking home was bitten by a police dog, struck with a baton and then pushed very strongly in the back by a police officer, and fell. Members of the public helped him. He died. This time, the violent actions of a police officer and the inaction of his colleagues were filmed, not just by CCTV, but also by a passer-by and published for the whole world to witness.
The Crown Prosecution Service has decided not to prosecute the police officer. The reason: 'irreconcilable conflict' between the three post-mortems. The first one found the death 'consistent with natural causes', the two others found the death was 'the result of abdominal haemorrhage from blunt force trauma to the abdomen, in association with alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver'.
The pathologist who conducted the fist post-mortem has been suspended from the Home Office register of forensic pathologists while he is being investigated by the General Medical Council for 'allegations that, whilst working as a Consultant Forensic Pathologist Dr Mohmed Patel's conduct in carrying our four post mortems was irresponsible and not of the standard expected of a competent Home Office registered forensic pathologist and that in one case his conduct was liable to bring the profession into disrepute.'
No prosecution gives a very wrong signal to violent police officers. That this happened as a consequence of choosing as the initial pathologist someone who has allegations against him, further rewards wrong behaviour. A police officer was last convicted for assault charges following a death in custody in 1971.
The Ian Tomlinson Family Campaign has launched a Campaign Fighting Fund to help the Tomlinson family in its fight for justice.