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Saturday, September 20, 2014  

UK court acquits cop of killing man during anti-G20 protest
LONDON A police officer accused of killing a newspaper seller at anti-capitalist G20 protests in London in 2009 was cleared by a jury on Thursday in a case that raised wider questions about recruitment policies at the capital’s police force.  

Police Constable Simon Harwood had been charged with the manslaughter of 47-year-old Ian Tomlinson who collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations in central London.  

At the end of a four-week trial at Southwark Crown Court the jury found Harwood not guilty.  

Tomlinson had become caught up in the protests near the Bank of England as he tried to make his way home.  

Video footage taken by an American tourist showed Harwood, wearing a riot helmet, pushing Tomlinson over shortly before he collapsed on a nearby street.  

The case attracted widespread public interest, with critics condemning an original decision not to prosecute Harwood.   

An initial post-mortem recorded that Tomlinson had died from a heart attack, but two further autopsies showed the cause of death to be internal bleeding.          

Prosecutors finally charged Harwood after an inquest jury in May 2011 found that Tomlinson had been unlawfully killed. That jury had found that Harwood used “excessive and unreasonable” force in hitting Tomlinson with a baton and that he had posed no threat at the time.  

Despite his acquittal, Harwood will now face a public misconduct hearing in September, the Independent Police Complaints Commission watchdog  said.  

Reuters
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