The police - as protectors of the system - can get away with murder

27 July 2010

The parting shot of the Con-Dem government before breaking up for its holidays was to add "do-it-yourself policing" to the d-i-y schooling and health care they are dishing up to try to disguise the deep cuts they want to make in public services.

They portray this as a "reform" which, among other things, will somehow allow the population to have some control over the police, by, for instance, electing... local sheriffs! As if.

But it is not surprising that they think they need to provide this kind of smokescreen. The many deaths in police custody and killings of innocent bystanders - most notoriously Jean Charles de Menezes in 2007, are ample reason. And last week, the menace posed by cops who are wound up by their superiors into a frenzy against their targets, whether it be suspected "terrorists" or just young demonstrators, was yet again exposed.

In fact it was on the anniversary the killing of Jean Charles de Menezes, on 22nd July, that the Crown Prosecution Service announced that no policeman would be charged in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson, also an innocent bystander, killed by the police. The announcement was made by the self-same CPS lawyer who decided no-one should face charges for the shooting of de Menezes.

Ian Tomlinson died in April 2009, 47 minutes after a riot policeman, on duty at an anti-G20 protest, lunged at him, hitting him in the back and pushing him, so that he went sprawling onto the ground. After being helped up by a protestor and walking another 100 yards or so, Tomlinson fell to the ground, dying on the spot.

The web of lies which protects them

Tomlinson had been walking home when he inadvertently came upon riot police trying to confine protestors in London's City. He was obviously not involved, but was aggressively attacked. This is shown very clearly on video film footage. The policeman responsible even came forward eventually and admitted what he had done.

However, despite this evidence, which would be more than enough to convict any ordinary person, the CPS decided that it would be unable to get a conviction against the police officer or his superiors. It cites a long list of reasons, which are really a catalogue of lies and cover-ups, starting with the first post mortem conducted by the police pathologist, who "found" that Tomlinson died of a heart attack. According to the CPS, this would leave a jury with "reasonable doubt" as to what caused death.

But the fact is that 2 subsequent post mortems showed that Mr Tomlinson died from severe bleeding - 3 litres of blood - into his abdomen. What is more, the coroner did not allow investigators from the Independent Police Commission to attend the first post mortem, nor inform his family of their right to attend.

Worse still, the pathologist who did the examination was under investigation by the Medical Council for his failure to perform previous police post mortems "accurately". And the police did not tell him that Tomlinson died just after they hit him.

Indeed, lies were told by the police from beginning to end. But the fact is that irrefutable evidence of what really happened was made available soon afterwards. Never mind though, the CPS still says there can be no conviction!


So in the end there is yet another outrageous cover-up and the police and their system of "authority" - all the way to the top - are to get away with it. The message is that nobody can be permitted to successfully put into question the authority of the state and its "armed bodies of men", its police, and its judiciary.

After the (always very long) enquiries which are held to keep up the appearances of "accountability" the system is always found "not guilty". We should not be too surprised. This is simply because the "armed bodies of men" (which, in a sense, is the state) whether by truncheons or guns, are there to protect the property and the position of the ruling class in this society. To undermine them, would be to undermine the class system itself.

So, no matter how many "Independent Police Complaint Commissions", "Independent Police Authorities" or indeed "accountable police commissioners", or "sheriffs" we may have, they will always just be a smokescreen for the mostly concealed, but sometimes revealed, brutal, law of "rich versus poor".

Indeed, the "armed bodies of men"will remain a menace to ordinary people as long as the class system remains. So until we end this system, we will have to keep our voices - and also our fists - raised against its injustice.