Photo by discarted
Columnist Ian Jack took on the ubiquity of photography in The Guardian this past weekend, and he seems to be conflicted about photography’s role in that it only provides a glimpse of the truth and not the whole story. However what he fails to note is that, without cameras, the only thing that is certain is that we get no truths, never mind half-truths.
To prove his point, Jack refers to the incident in London April 1 at the G20 Summit where police struck Ian Tomlinson from behind, causing him to slam into the ground and later die of a heart attack. The attack, seemingly out of the blue and unprovoked, was caught on film by a bystander.
Update: A second postmortem examination shows that Tomlinson died from an abdominal hemorrhage.
Jack says the details are yet to come out about what really happened, as if the fact that Tomlinson was a part of the protest would somehow justify the brutality. That is immaterial. Regardless of what the Tomlinson did a block away or four hours before (and all accounts have said he was not a part of the melee), he was killed by a policeman who demonstrated unnecessary force, and it was caught on video. I guess Ian Jack has never heard of the expression “The tape doesn’t lie.”
More importantly, before video surfaced of the Tomlinson attack the only half-truths being told were from the Metropolitan Police (Met) when they claimed that Tomlinson died from a massive heart attack and did not have any contact with police. According to BBC reports, Tomlinson had repeated contact with Met Police before one officer caused his untimely death.
Update: The Guardian releases new photos proving Tomlinson had prior contact with police before being assaulted.
Jack also refers to the firing last week of Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism chief, Bob Quick, after highly sensitive documents he was carrying were caught by photographers as he was going to a meeting at 10 Downing Street. The monumental gaffe forced officials to deploy a raid on al Qaeda suspects earlier than they had planned.