HARRY STANLEY was shot dead by armed police in Hackney in September 1999. They said that they thought that he was carrying a shotgun in a plastic bag. In fact, it was a table leg. Not a single policeman was brought to trial for the killing.
Five years ago, Jean Paul de Menezes was held down in his seat on the tube at Stockwell Station by police officers, while another officer fired 11 shots of which seven hit him in the head. This was the state execution of a completely innocent man.
Not only was no police officer ever charged to stand trial for this killing, but in the course of the ‘investigation’ vital evidence was lost, including CCTV footage, and since then the woman officer who directed the police killing, Cressida Dick, has been favoured with promotion. The killing in fact appears to have advanced, not hindered, her career.
Yesterday, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) took the decision not to charge a riot police officer with any crime, after he struck Ian Tomlinson with his truncheon and pushed him to the ground after his dog had bitten Tomlinson, as he was walking through the area where the April 1st 2009, G20 demonstration was taking place. Tomlinson collapsed and died.
Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, yesterday conceded that ‘shortly before his death, Mr Tomlinson was struck with a baton and pushed very strongly in the back by a police officer . . . causing him to fall to the ground’.
He added: ‘After a thorough and careful consideration of all the available evidence, the CPS has decided that there is no realistic prospect of a conviction against PC “A” for any offence arising from the matter investigated and that no charges should be brought against him.’
The CPS has reissued the police with a licence to kill. Starmer related that the issue that the CPS had addressed was ‘whether there is enough evidence resulting from the investigation to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and, if so, whether a prosecution is required in the public interest’.
Starmer’s case for no charges rests on the fact that while two doctors, Dr Cary, and Doctor Shorrock, concluded that Tomlinson’s death was the result of abdominal haemorrhage (internal bleeding) caused by blunt force trauma to the abdomen’, one, Dr Patel, who carried out the original post mortem, thought that the death was ‘consistent with natural causes’; this is being used to prevent charges being made!
The issue is being presented as a ‘fundamental disagreement between the experts’ which prevents prosecution. This is despite the 2-1 majority and the fact that allegations have been made concerning a number of previous post mortems carried out by Dr Patel and his fitness to practice.
It turns out that this ‘conflict’ in the medical evidence protects the rioting police officer from criminal charges ranging from manslaughter, to assault occasioning actual bodily harm. As well, even a charge of common assault is allegedly impossible because there is a six-month time limit, while ‘there is no evidence that the dog handler instructed or encouraged the dog to bite Mr Tomlinson’.
In fact, no one will be surprised if the way has been cleared for the officer, and the whole team to be promoted.
The truth of the matter is that the ruling class has been training ‘shoot-to-kill’ and ‘riot assault squads’ as part of their preparations to confront angry workers who take to the streets to defend their rights.
If riot police or members of shoot-to-kill death squads could be prosecuted for the deaths that they cause then they would mutiny at the least.
They therefore have, in practice, an immunity from prosecution as the three above cases show.
The only way to deal with these forces is through a socialist revolution that smashes and breaks up the capitalist state and its death and riot squads and brings in socialism.