London officer charged with manslaughter

June 21, 2011 at 1:09 AM
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LONDON, June 21 (UPI) -- A London police officer was arraigned Monday on a manslaughter charge for allegedly killing a newspaper vendor during a 2009 demonstration.

Police Constable Simon Harwood, 44, said almost nothing during his brief appearance in Westminster Magistrates Court, The Guardian reported. He was released on bail pending a hearing in October.

The victim, Ian Tomlinson, 47, died after Harwood hit him with a baton and forced him to the ground, investigators said. The Crown Prosecution Service decided last year not to bring charges, a decision that was reversed last month after an inquest determined Tomlinson's death was unlawful.

Tomlinson, a father of nine with a history of alcoholism, was separated from his wife and living in a shelter at the time of his death. He apparently was walking home from work when he became embroiled in a large demonstration April 1, 2009, near the Bank of England during a Group of 20 meeting.

The Guardian posted video footage of Tomlinson's death a week later, resulting in an investigation.

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