Friday, May 01, 2009

G20 Protests: New Complaint About Police

A fourth complaint against police from the G20 demonstrations is being investigated.

A 22-year-old woman involved in the protests in London on April 1 has made an accusation of assault, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.

The complaint was referred by the Metropolitan Police, a spokesman said.

"Having reviewed the information, the IPCC has taken the decision to independently investigate this latest incident arising from the policing operation relating to the G20 Summit," IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass explained.

It is understood the alleged incident took place in Bishopsgate, where hundreds of climate campaigners set up camp to protest over global warming.

Demonstrators complained they were forcibly removed from the site that evening by officers wearing riot gear.

IPCC investigators are also examining the death of newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson, 47, who collapsed after allegedly being attacked by a police officer.

A constable from the Met's territorial support group has been suspended from duty and questioned under caution for manslaughter.

Further complaints from a woman activist who was slapped by an officer and a man who claims he was assaulted are being probed as well.

The number of complaints received by the IPCC relating to the G20 protests has risen to 256.

The event saw more than 5,000 people flood the City of London as the world's most powerful leaders gathered nearby for the G20 Summit.

Of the complaints total, 121 are from people who claim they either witnessed or suffered police violence.

Another 75 relate to police tactics and 60 are from members of the public who object to what they saw on television.

A review of public order tactics has been launched by HM Chief Inspector of Constabulary Denis O'Connor.

Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has since been forced to defend his force's public order tactics, including the use of batons, dogs and the strategy of containing people for long periods, known as kettling.

Sir Paul said any officer caught not wearing identification for criminal purposes should be sacked.