IPCC whitewash of Police Brutality Against Rural Protestors.
Baton-wielding police officers who left scores of anti-hunt protestors bloodied in one of the most violent London riots in modern memory have been cleared of wrongdoing.
Shocking images of law-abiding demonstrators being clubbed to the ground rocked Westminster in 2004 and prompted a flood of legal complaints.
Pictures of injured rural men, women and teenagers, their faces streaming with blood under a hail of blows from officers in riot-gear triggered a national outcry.
But the official report into the demonstration has refused to endorse claims of police brutality and even accuses the protestors of stoking up the violence...
The IPCC 43-page report.... acknowledges that "some of the people injured in the demonstration were clearly not involved in any disorder", but goes on to conclude that "it is not surprising that police officers chose to use force".
The report's conclusions are all the more surprising given the seriousness with which IPCC chairman Nick Hardwick describes the events of Sep 15 2004.
In the report's foreword, he points out they were the "largest scale disorder" in London for more than a decade. And he accepts "how shocked everybody was" by the footage of the violence.
He says: "The images of injured hunt supporters cast a shadow across the reputation of the Metropolitan Police Service."
The IPCC received an initial 425 complaints, including 54 from people at the demonstration who claimed they were injured by the police. It took 1000 witness statements, and logged 400 exhibits and 25000 documents.
The report concludes: "It is clear that a number of protestors received serious head injuries. The consequences of such acts could have been far more serious."
It agrees that there were examples of "considerable force" used by some officers that led to "a number of serious head injuries".
But it refuses to condemn the actions of the Met officers in Parliament Square and instead limits itself to a number of procedural recommendations, including a suggestion that batons used against demonstrators should be seized on the spot as potential evidence.
You couldn't make it up as that being the sort of pathetic recommendation the pen-pushers would come up with. I will leave it to others to suggest that if the demonstrators hadn't been overwhelmingly white law-abiding British Subjects then the outcome would have been different. The supercilious tones of some Plod on the radio welcoming the report reminds me yet again of the shame that decent folk have lost all respect for the police; and without that respect then "policing by consent" is no longer possible and we take yet another step towards a police state.