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G20: another version of the truth – the police assault on Ian Tomlinson in context

April 19th, 2009 · post by Jack Weir · 14 Comments

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.

F3 - U2934F4 - U2337

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 (CSARbronze commander for Operation Glencoe), a Chief Inspector from Sussex Police (KBCICI 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)

They retreat onto Royal Exchange Buildings where several people are struck with batons, and one person is thrown to the ground. (1, 2, 3, 4)

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)

The BTP on Cornhill begin to push the ‘onlookers’ Eastwards, towards Bishopsgate/Gracechurch Street. (1, 2, 3)

Ian Tomlinson collapses outside 77 Cornhill, some of the onlookers give him first aid before the police push them away. (1, 2)

The BTP are joined by the same City Police dog handlers seen on Threadneedle Street and Royal Exchange Buildings. The dogs are used to drive people Eastwards (1, 2 – 7:30, 3)

The dogs are moved behind the line of BTP, where there are also a group of FIT, they soon pass the spot where Ian Tomlinson has collapsed. (1 – 7:32, 2, 3 – 7:34)

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)

Three Met vans drive up Gracechurch Street from the direction of London Bridge. Flour is thrown at them and they turn back. (1, 2)

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:

CSAR was seen directing the charges around RBS (1, 2) on Threadneedle Street. He was later in command at the April 2nd memorial demonstration, and again on the April 11th justice march.

KBCI was also involved around RBS (1, 2, 3, 4) on Threadneedle Street.

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)

F3 at RBS on Threadneedle Street (1), and F4 on Bishopsgate (1).

C1 was another seen on Bartholomew Lane. (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

→ 14 CommentsThis entry belongs to the following categories: Articles · resistance

14 responses so far

  • yes posted:
    Apr 20, 2009 at 9:29 am. Comment #1

    shit hot. good work. (why is an email address required to post?)

  • ‘G20: Another version of the truth’ - very important piecing together of Tomlinson death timeline - READ & DISTRIBUTE « Bristle’s Blog from the BunKRS posted:
    Apr 20, 2009 at 9:43 am. Comment #2

    [...] operation was ‘proportionate’, Last Hours has published a preliminary – but detailed – timeline of the events that led to the deadly assault on Ian Tomlinson by an unidentified TSG officer whilst in the [...]

  • Edd posted:
    Apr 20, 2009 at 12:00 pm. Comment #3

    Really impressive news story!

    Oh & email is required to post partly to reduce spam, partly so that people can use gravatar to have images next to their comments – like this one – and partly because it’s just the default of the system the site. You can always give a fake one :)

  • Peter Hogan posted:
    Apr 20, 2009 at 4:03 pm. Comment #4

    Top work Jack!

    The more it’s looked at, the worse it gets.

  • Alan posted:
    Apr 22, 2009 at 7:35 pm. Comment #5

    VERY impressive research – I take it as red all this info will be sent to Liberty, The Guardian and, for what it’s worth, the IPCC ?!

    Met Comm Paul Stephenson has said that all officers who “deliberately” conceal their ID numbers “should” be sacked, which probably means no officers will be sacked

  • jack posted:
    Dec 9, 2009 at 1:37 am. Comment #6

    Brilliant work, i pray the met thugs are at least put up for trial. Oh, as you’ve done such good work on the identification front, you couldn’t identify this officer?

    The Met are having some trouble working out who he is!!! Lack of will probably

  • TwoThumbsFresh posted:
    Aug 2, 2010 at 11:06 pm. Comment #7

    Great work, if you need any more information regarding the photos I took (re: Snatch Arrest on Cornhill, C1/A) just get in touch. TTF.

  • IAN CAMERON posted:
    Aug 15, 2010 at 12:02 am. Comment #8

    I have only just discovered this site and would like to say how worthwhile all the work is that you have put in to produce this information. Thank you very much for all your efforts. I am slightly puzzled about the following – how many of those you’ve variously identified are from the Larkhall Lane Stockwell/Clapham TSG base?? Is it only Smellie? I am not clear which TSG Harwood operated with and have seen a text (not here) identifying him with a TSG outfit based in Lee.

  • anon posted:
    Nov 10, 2010 at 7:25 am. Comment #9

    alan palfreys family claim to be christians and attend their local catholic church weekly. At the moment the jury has retired at cardiff crown court to decide whether or not alans brother-in-law mark gale is guilty of 5 counts of rape 10 indecent assaults and 3 of those rapes on girls under the age of 16. alan palfrey recently got married and allowed his brother-in-law to attend while chaperoned by a social worker. the palfrey family are very good at ignoring the facts and supporting lies and deceit

  • anon posted:
    Nov 13, 2010 at 10:22 pm. Comment #10

    jury could not reach a decision on mark gale (palfreys brother-in-law) so looks like a retrial once again the palfreys are backing him even though even now he lied and told people he has been aquitted watch this space

  • anon posted:
    Dec 6, 2010 at 12:30 am. Comment #11

    back in court 4/4/2011

  • John posted:
    Apr 9, 2011 at 10:40 am. Comment #12

    Seen time after time this cop lied.

    If there is such thing as justice for Ian’s family then prove it.

  • j posted:
    May 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm. Comment #13

    Cuts the lot of them involved and the ones who did not help Ian. I hope they get hurt next time.

    A crime was in progress (assault) and the other thugs just looked on. Also they lied

  • j posted:
    May 24, 2011 at 3:16 pm. Comment #14

    Cunts the lot of them involved and the ones who did not help Ian. I hope they get hurt next time.

    A crime was in progress (assault) and the other thugs just looked on. Also they lied