Policeman to face trial over G20 death

A BRITISH prosecutor says he will bring a manslaughter charge against a police officer following the death of a newspaper vendor during the G20 demonstrations in London in 2009.

Keir Starmer QC, the director of public prosecutions, said there were grounds for police constable Simon Harwood to face a trial after reviewing an inquest jury’s unlawful killing verdict in the death of Ian Tomlinson.

Harwood will appear before City of Westminster Magistrates’ Court on June 20, Starmer said.

Tomlinson, a homeless 47-year-old newspaper seller, collapsed and died on the fringes of the demonstrations in central London on April 1, 2009.

He was shoved to the ground as he tried to find his way out of the cordon thrown up to contain protests in central London. He collapsed and died moments afterward. His case became a cause celebre for those who alleged that police brutalised demonstrators.

A report following the demonstration said police were too focused on tackling violence rather than allowing peaceful protest.

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