Attorney: Hemorrhage killed G-20 protester

/ Source: The Associated Press

The attorney representing the family of a man who died during the protests before Group of 20 summit said Friday that he suffered from an abdominal hemorrhage — not a heart attack.

Jules Carey said a second autopsy was conducted on Ian Tomlinson after videotape emerged appearing to show the newspaper vendor being shoved to the ground by police. The first autopsy had said he died as the result of a heart attack.

Carey said Friday that the findings increase the possibility that the officer implicated in the incident could face charges.

Britain's Independent Police Complaints Commission said that the officer, who has been suspended from duty amid an inquiry, was questioned Friday on suspicion of manslaughter.

The commission is investigating the death of Tomlinson, 47, who collapsed minutes after his encounter with police. He was attempting to get home when he was caught in protests close to the Bank of England, in central London.

"First we were told that there had been no contact with the police, then we were told that he died of a heart attack. Now we know that he was violently assaulted by a police officer and died from internal bleeding," Tomlinson's son Paul King said. "As time goes on, we hope that the full truth about how Ian died will be made known."

Carey said that Tomlinson's family hope the complaints commission will quickly decide whether or not the police officer should be prosecuted.

"The video footage of the unprovoked and vicious assault on Ian by the police officer would easily justify charges of assault being brought against the officer," he said. Carey said the result of the new autopsy "significantly increase the likelihood that the officer will now face the more serious charge of manslaughter."

London's Metropolitan Police Commissioner Paul Stephenson has ordered an investigation into use of crowd control tactics by his officers, but said police acted proportionately to control the protests.

Demonstrators at the Bank of England showered officers with paint, food and other projectile, while masked rioters broke into a nearby branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland, smashing windows and damaging office equipment.

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