Obviously I'm not surprised, the police will always have an institutionalised advantage in these reviews. It was initially ruled that the officer who, during the 2009 G20 protests, pushed Ian Tomlinson (a newspaper seller who had the audacity to walk past) to the ground, would not be prosecuted. Fortunately, it was ruled a few days ago that the officer is now to be charged. Hopefully the same will happen in the Jody McIntyre case, but I highly doubt it.
Today's report is almost as sickening as the event itself, the footage of which, along with the BBC interview, I suggest you watch if you haven't already. Apparently the police were justified in tipping someone from their wheelchair, dragging them across a road and hitting them with a baton due to the "perceived risk" to him. So this was for McIntyre's own safety? How compassionate of the police to protect him. By lovingly tipping him from a wheelchair and benevolently dragging him across a street. I don't know what he was at risk of, but it seems unlikely to be worse than what the police did. It's also horribly offensive to suggest that he needed their "help." But to even indulge the ridiculous idea that the police were acting in McIntyre's best interest is to do them a service they do not deserve.
Initially, the police justified their actions by suggesting that McIntyre was a threat. Obviously they ditched this excuse because it's difficult to see how a man in a wheelchair can be a threat to riot police, as he himself argued: "Do you really think a person with cerebral palsy in a wheelchair can pose a threat to a police officer who is armed with weapons?" To which the BBC newsreader Ben Brown replied: "But you do say that you're a revolutionary." Oh, he says he's a revolutionary?! Well that changes everything! The police were right, in fact I'm impressed by quite how restrained they were considering they were dealing with a revolutionary! In fact, Brown's line of questioning and tone throughout the interview is dubious, as he attempts to justify the actions of the police. At one point he accuses McIntyre of threateningly rolling towards the police, a ludicrous justification that is best tackled by Mark Steel's brilliant article:
Presumably the police turned to each other in shock, spluttering: "Oh my God, he's rolling straight for us. These riot shields and helmets with visors offer woefully inadequate protection against such a persistent rolling machine. If we're lucky our batons can buy us some time, but his momentum is terrifying, it's like a cerebral palsy tsunami."
So because the whole wheelchair-bound-man-as-threat argument was clearly ridiculous, they've changed their story and gone with the whole we-dragged-him-from-his-wheelchair-to-protect-him argument. Find an offensively absurd argument and stick to it.
As for hitting the wheelchair-bound man with a baton, that was justified because it was "inadvertent." I read that and thought, "I thought inadvertent meant accidental. I must just be stupid. They can't seriously be trying to justify hitting him with a baton by claiming that it was an accident. That would be laughable. If it wasn't so disgusting." So I looked the word up, and I was right. How exactly does one hit a wheelchair-bound man with a baton inadvertently? They're justifying it because the police officer was careless. So careless that he hit a man in a wheelchair with a baton. To misquote Oscar Wilde, "to lose one parent may be regarded as a misfortune; to hit a wheelchair-bound man with a baton is FUCKING INEXCUSABLE YOU MORALLY REPUGNANT CUNT." He was a shouty man. But therein lies his famous wit. If the police consider that behaviour careless then they have more serious problems than I thought. But again, to accept for a moment that it was "inadvertent" grants these police a level of respect of which they've proved themselves unworthy.
Finally, we learn that: "Following the investigation, internal guidelines will be drawn up on the most appropriate way to move a wheelchair user in such circumstances." Might I suggest that the guideline "hit them with a baton, tip them from their wheelchair and drag them across the road" is omitted? As I said, I sincerely hope, but sincerely doubt, that these disgraceful findings are overturned. Even if just on health and safety grounds, as in the case of Jean Charles de Menezes. I will leave you with the appropriate angry, punk, protest song (and video) by The King Blues that this blog is named after. Enjoy!