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The cameras which filmed Ian Tomlinson's death at the G20.

postedby | 24.04.2009 10:58 | G20 London Summit | Culture | Repression | Social Struggles

Photo evidence of at least seven CCTV cameras present at the spot where Ian Tomlinson was assaulted by a police officer during London's recent G20 meeting, and later died.

On a Monday evening, nineteen days after the death of Ian Tomlinson during
protests at the G20, I went with camera and binoculars to the place where he
was knocked to the ground by a London police officer, and started looking for
security cameras.

The first I found within seconds, being large and immediately across the narrow
street. The second, slightly to the left and also pointed directly at me, took
two minutes more. After a quarter hour of scanning the surrounding buildings
I had located another three.

It's worth pointing out that in taking these pictures I have violated British
anti-terrorism law, and am potentially subject to arrest. So I apologise for
the quality of the images, I didn't want to use a better camera for fear of
it being damaged or confiscated.

This map shows the camera's locations as well as, according to this blog post, two more that I missed.

A brief time-line of events:

April 1
Ian Tomlinson, returning home from work, dies near the Bank of England during
a 'kettling' containment procedure. Police release a statement that they had
rushed to his aid, but were hampered in their efforts by a “rain of missiles”
thrown by protesters.
The death is referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC),
following which investigators “have looked at many hours of CCTV, examined
statements and police records and spoken to independent witnesses.” There
are suggestions Ian may have been hit in the head with a bottle thrown by a

April 3
Home Office pathologist Dr Freddy Patel concludes Tomlinson died of a heart
attack. Patel has previously been reprimanded after he released medical details
about a man who died controversially in police custody.
The IPCC state that Ian “had no physical contact with police” before his death.

April 7
Video footage is posted online showing Ian being struck by a police officer
in riot gear and thrown heavily to the ground just before his death. Other videos
also show that, corroborating eyewitness accounts, no bottles or other missiles
were thrown at police.

April 9
A second independent autopsy finds that the cause of death was abdominal
haemorrhage, aka internal bleeding.
IPCC chair Nick Hardwick declares "We don't have CCTV footage of the incident...
there is no CCTV footage, there were no cameras in the location where he was

April 12
Evidence emerges of CCTV cameras at the location of Ian's assault.

April 14
The IPCC admits that its chairman was wrong to claim that there was no CCTV
footage of the events leading up to Tomlinson's death.
To date, no footage has been released.

Given the clear existence of cameras, the initial claims of their absence is
disturbing, as it offers only three options:
either they didn't actually look for the cameras, or they looked but were unable
to find any, or they had viewed the footage but claimed otherwise.
None of these options speaks well of the police or IPCC; but the third, other
than being an obstruction of justice, would completely undermine the very existence
of the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

There is something else concerning; multiple witnesses assert that Ian was assaulted
by police on at least two other occasions in the last hour of his life. To date
there has been no official statement on this claim, one way or the other.
I traced the rout he is meant to have taken between King William street and
the Bank of England.
Putting it simply, there were cameras everywhere.

How likely is it that no CCTV footage exists of Ian Tomlinson being assaulted by police?
And what would it mean if the IPCC, charged with independently overseeing the
UK police, had seen it, but chosen to lie?

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Bits of the article which haven't posted properly:

24.04.2009 12:26

These are the photos I took, which should have been embedded in the post.

Also the blog entry for the other two cameras is here:

mail e-mail:


Display the following 9 comments

  1. punch — Eagle
  2. Well done — Ketlan
  3. Help from the Daily Mail — Chris Gilmour
  4. But didn't they say ... but then he say ... but ... — Kon FuZ Ed
  5. correction — mike
  6. 21st Century all seeing eyes — ICU There
  7. Cameras aren't great, but... — postedby
  8. postedby — mike
  9. breaking the law? — Fly Poster