Video taken minutes before man's death at G20 protest prompts probe
Tomlinson not believed to be among demonstrators
A video showing a London police officer pushing a man forcefully to the ground minutes before he died during last week's G20 protests has prompted the city's police chief to say the matter warrants a "full investigation."
Ian Tomlinson, a 47-year old newspaper vendor, collapsed and died last Wednesday shortly after being pushed by a police officer patrolling London's financial district, packed at the time with protesters. Tomlinson was on his way home and was not believed to be taking part in the anti-G20 protests, according to local media reports.
"The images that have now been released raise obvious concerns and it is absolutely right and proper that there is a full investigation into this matter, which the [London Metropolitan Police] will fully support," said police Commissioner Paul Stephenson Wednesday in a statement.
A U.S. fund manager, on a visit to London, shot the footage and gave it to the Guardian newspaper, which published it online.
The video, shot at about 7:20 p.m. local time, shows Tomlinson walking away, hands in pockets, from a group of armed officers in riot gear.
It doesn't appear to indicate Tomlinson initiated any verbal or physical contact with the officers. But one of the officers is seen striking him with a baton on the back of the leg, and then giving Tomlinson a two-handed push, sending him forcefully to the ground.
It is unclear whether any of the officers addressed Tomlinson verbally before he was pushed.
He is helped up by two onlookers, and is heard talking to the officers. He then walks away. Minutes later, Tomlinson collapses near the Bank of England, where he is helped by bystanders and police medics who attempt to administer first aid.
He was then taken to hospital, where he was pronounced dead due to what an initial autopsy report indicates was a heart attack.
Britain's police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said it is studying the footage.
"We have recovered video footage from a national newspaper last night," the IPCC said in a Wednesday statement. "We are now in the process of analyzing it, along with the other evidence we have obtained on the case."
The IPCC will interview the officer involved in the incident Wednesday.
With files from the Associated Press