IPCC receives 145 complaints over G20 demos
LONDON (Reuters) - The police watchdog said on Thursday it had received 145 complaints about the policing of demonstrations against the G20 summit in London earlier this month.
These included 70 allegations about excessive use of force by officers and 40 concerned the police tactics employed to deal with the protests on April 1 and 2 in the capital's financial district, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said.
However, 40 did not appear to be eligible complaints as they included accusations from people watching on TV.
On Wednesday, London's Metropolitan Police said it had suspended a sergeant after video footage showed him apparently lashing out at a woman who was remonstrating with him during one protest.
Last week another police officer was suspended after being caught on camera pushing newspaper seller Ian Tomlinson to the ground. Tomlinson, 47, died of a heart attack after collapsing shortly afterwards in a nearby street.
Both incidents are being investigated by the IPCC.
London's police chief on Wednesday ordered a review of public order tactics, especially the use of "kettling" where protesters are herded by officers into a confined space amid growing criticism from politicians and civil rights groups.
"I want to be reassured that the use of this tactic remains appropriate and proportionate," Paul Stephenson said.
"Separately, I have already expressed my concern that the video footage of some police actions are clearly disturbing and should be thoroughly investigated."
Some of those who have complained to the IPCC allege that they were attacked by officers during peaceful demonstrations.
"They charged towards us all of a sudden, even though we were all sitting down at that point," said Maya Oppenheim, 17, who was at the Climate Camp protest.
"I was whacked on the head with a baton and an officer kicked me in the shins. It was ferocious," she told the London Evening Standard.
(Reporting by Michael Holden)
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