April 15th, 2009

important, lives

Police brutality at the G20 protests

The Guardian has posted a collection of videos showing police violence against demonstrators at the G20 protests in London earlier this month.

It's really starting to make me wonder just what on earth is going on in the Metropolitan police. When the footage came out last week of the apparently unprovoked police assault on Ian Tomlinson, it was disturbing, but one could console oneself with the idea that it might have been a relatively isolated incident. The accumulating video footage makes that seem unlikely. (With some of the videos, I'm willing to concede that perhaps I lack the knowledge or the context to put what I'm seeing in perspective. But the Tomlinson video or this one are particularly astonishing. I'm sorry, but you can't convince me that attacking someone who is walking away from you with his hands in his pockets is acceptable police procedure. Nor is backhanding someone across the face.)

What really creeps me out is my suspicion that if Tomlinson hadn't collapsed and died mere minutes after that video that I linked to was filmed, none of this would have gotten any particular scrutiny.