Simon Harwood is the latest police officer found not guilty

July 22, 2012 in Breaking News, Custody Deaths & Abuse by UFFC Admin

originally by: The Guardian
published: 19 July 2012

PC Simon Harwood has been found not guilty of the manslaughter of Ian Tomlinson at the 2009 G20 protest.

As Tomlinson walked home from work, hands in his pockets, Harwood hit him with a baton and shoved him to the ground.

The court has seen footage of Harwood’s attack on Tomlinson, who is seen walking away from the police line. As a female officer steps forward to talk to Tomlinson, Harwood passes two police dogs in order to hit and push Tomlinson to the ground. Tomlinson barely has enough time to take his hands out of his pockets to protect himself as he falls. He died shortly afterwards.

Harwood told the court that his actions were justifiable within the context of the widespread disorder of that day, and the jury heard conflicting medical evidence on whether Harwood’s attack had caused Tomlinson’s death.

The Human Rights Act guarantees everyone the right to life. In practice, this has been interpreted as requiring the state to investigate deaths linked to the authorities and hold accountable those responsible for unlawful killings. In spite of this guarantee, in reality, it has proved well nigh impossible to hold anyone accountable for deaths in which police officers may be implicated.

Read full article >

Sean Rigg inquest: Inspector defends custody handling

July 22, 2012 in Breaking News, Custody Deaths & Abuse by UFFC Admin

originally by: BBC News
published: 20 July 2012

A police inspector in charge of a group of officers when a schizophrenic man died in custody has said he would act “exactly the same” under similar circumstances. 

Physically fit Sean Rigg, 40, was held by police after he attacked passers-by in Balham, south London, in 2008.

Southwark Coroner’s Court heard he was not treated with extra care despite information about his mental health. He died at Brixton police station in south London.

The court heard that Inspector Andrew Dunn saw a number of computer-aided dispatches (CADs) which referred to Mr Rigg by name, and that he had mental health issues.

But the section sergeant, who saw Mr Rigg in a cage in the back of a police van at the police station after he was arrested on August 21, said he did not marry together pieces of information that would have shown the detainee was at risk.

Read the rest of this entry →

Mubenga death: G4S guards will not face charges

July 22, 2012 in Custody Deaths & Abuse, Race & Society by UFFC Admin

originally by: The Guardian
published: 17 July 2012

Three guards who worked for the security firm G4S have been told they will not face manslaughter charges over the death of Jimmy Mubenga, an Angolan refugee who collapsed while being escorted on a flight from Heathrow airport in London 21 months ago.

The men worked as guards for the firm, which was contracted to escort deportees for the Home Office when the incident occurred. G4S has come under intense criticism in recent days after admitting it has failed to supply enough guards for the Olympics.

Mubenga, 46, died after losing consciousness on British Airways flight 77 to Angola, as it waited to take off on the runway.

The Crown Prosecution Service said that in order to prosecute the guards for “gross negligence manslaughter” they would need to prove he was held in a “severely splinted position” – bent over with his head either on or below his knees and his diaphragm restricted – for a sufficient period of time to show that the actions of the security guards were more than a minimal cause of his death.

Read full article >