Two more of the Forward Intelligence (FIT) officers who witnessed (and ignored) the attack on Ian Tomlinson have been identified as U2934 PC Colin Nye (F3) and U2337 PC Carl Small (F4) from the TSG. Colin Nye is the officer who walked forward to where Ian Tomlinson was on the ground but did nothing to help him up. He told the IPCC that this was to check whether Ian Tomlinson was “a person of interest in his role”, i.e. whether he was a suspect.
This is an attempt to compile a comprehensive narrative of the situation around Royal Exchange when Ian Tomlinson was assaulted, and subsequent events, referenced to photos, videos and eyewitness accounts. It is still a work in progress, and is updated when additional material is located.
In the early evening of April 1st, on Lombard Street, where Ross Hardy and another unnamed photographer took pictures of Ian Tomlinson outside Gym Box (reported as 7:10 pm), cops are clearing the street, and based on later videos some of those present end up on Cornhill. (1, 2)
Nearby on Cornhill a group of British Transport Police (BTP) and Met Level 2s split the crowd arbitrarily into ‘protesters’ and ‘onlookers’. Present at this point are City of London Police Chief Superintendent Alex Robertson (CSAR – bronze commander for Operation Glencoe), a Chief Inspector from Sussex Police (KBCI – CI Mills of EDO infamy), and several FIT officers of interest (F1 – EK127 PC Alan Palfrey, F3, & F4). (1, 2 – 7:11pm, 3 – 7:12, 4 – 7:12, 5, 6 – 7:15, 7 – 7:15, 8 – 7:15, 9 – 7:15, 10, 11)
Some of those officers emerge from the crowd on Cornhill, after what looks like an arrest. Officer A (PC Simon Harwood, part of U41, i.e. 4 Area TSG, based at Aitken Road, Catford) and C1 appear to be involved. (1)
Minutes later some of the FIT have moved from Cornhill to Threadneedle Street. Present are City police dogs and their handlers, Metropolitan Police Public Order Trainers from Gravesend MPSTC (known as Griffon units) – they are the officers wearing helmets and blue overalls without high-visibility jackets or shields, Officer A, F3, F4, and a senior City of London Police officer, carrying a blue folder (CPblue), this was Chief Inspector Tony Cairney, who had originally been in charge of policing the Climate Camp protest on Bishopsgate. Two men are bitten by the dogs, one of them is arrested, and the FIT push photographers Eastwards, away from that branch of RBS, a line of Level 2s from Hackney (GD) arrives and runs towards Royal Exchange Avenue, while other officers move towards Royal Exchange Buildings. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
A Met Level 2 Inspector is seen at the South end of Royal Exchange Buildings (1 – 7:18)
Officer A (Simon Harwood) assaults Ian Tomlinson at the South end of Royal Exchange Buildings. He is helped up by demonstrators while F1 Alan Palfrey, F2 CO2558 Steve Discombe, F3, F4, F5 CO5466 Ryan Cowlin, C1, the dog handlers and some Level 2s look on, as he walks away the CPblue is seen coming to Cornhill from Threadneedle Street. (1 – 7:19, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6)
On Cornhill some of the ‘onlookers’ sit down in front of a police line which includes BTP and Level 2s from Hammersmith (FH). CSAR deals with them personally, while CPblue is behind the police line. (1 – 7:17, 2 – 7:18, 3 – 7:23, 4 – 7:24)
When they reach the junction of Cornhill and Gracechurch Street the BTP stop in a solid line at the East end of Cornhill, and when two ambulances arrive the police remain across the road at first, one officer waves them towards Threadneedle Street, while people shout at the police to move. CSAR is seen personally directing the ambulances down Cornhill. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
The police continue to herd the group which began at the Royal Exchange, now down Gracechurch Street, at Leadenhall Market there is an exchange of words between drinkers outside a pub, and the crowd, the FIT – with F1 – Alan Palfrey among them – step in to keep the two groups apart, until a group of Level 2s take over. (1 – 7:46)
A serial of TSG join the BTP and the crowd is gradually moved all the way down Gracechurch Street, and then across London Bridge. F1 – Alan Palfrey is seen with F2 CO2558 Steve Discombe and F5 CO5466 Ryan Cowlin on the bridge. (1 – 8:08, 2, 3, 4)
Key people seen elsewhere:
F1, Alan Palfrey, was seen on Bartholomew Lane, Queen Victoria Street and Bishopsgate, each time in the company of F2 CO2558 Steve Discombe, and F1 CO5466 Ryan Cowlin. Both Palfrey and Discombe made statements to the IPCC about the attack on Ian Tomlinson. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) F1 Alan Palfrey was later seen at Royal Exchange on April 2nd, where he witnessed the TSG Sergeant’s attack on Nicky Fisher. (1, 2)
All times quoted are either calculated from offsets to, or taken directly from photographs showing the East-facing clock on the Cornhill side of the Royal Exchange, which was checked as within 30 seconds of UTC on April 3rd, 2009.
Most of the ids (F1, F2, etc.) used were taken from Bristle’s blog.
If you have additional information please contact the author Jack Weir