london police apologize for death of homeless newspaper salesman at g20 protest

by Tim Phillips

During a 2009 G20 protest in London, officer Simon Harwood hit homeless newspaper salesman Ian Tomlinson from behind as Tomlinson walked away from police lines. Harwood struck Tomlinson with a baton and pushed him to the ground. Tomlinson collapsed fewer than three minutes later, dying shortly afterward.

A jury examined the incident to determine the cause of Tomlinson’s death. On May 3, 2011, the jury concluded beyond a reasonable doubt that Harwood unlawfully killed Tomlinson. Yet on July 19, 2012, a subsequent jury, in Harwood’s manslaughter trial, found the officer not guilty. Regardless, Harwood was later fired after a police disciplinary panel ruled that his actions constituted gross misconduct.

Following the not guilty verdict last year, Tomlinson’s family initiated a civil case. Yesterday the London police finally apologized to Tomlinson’s family, more than four years after he died. The apology is apparently part of an out-of-court settlement.