Peter Reynolds

The life and times of Peter Reynolds

Thug Smellie Gets Away With It

with 37 comments

Fugitive From Justice

Another miserable day for British justice.  Another scandalous triumph for police brutality.  Another incompetent, unforgiveable failure by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.  “Independent” my ****.   Weak, corrupt and pointless more like!

Sergeant Delroy Smellie, who should be languishing in jail for several years, in segregation for his own safety, has got away with his brutal assault on Nicola Fisher at the G20 protest.  See the full story here.

This is a licence for British police officers to use violence and brutality whenever they wish, even when they are being filmed.  Whatever the evidence they will get away with it.

It took the Metropolitan Police 30 years to admit they murdered Blair Peach.  Somehow, in the face of the crystal clear facts they have been able to get Smellie off the hook.  This failure of the Courts and the IPCC to call him to account can only be corrupt.  There can be no other explanation.

What about the assault on Ian Tomlinson?  He died after another Metropolitan Police thug assaulted him at the G20 protest.  More than a year later we are still waiting for the officer concerned to be charged.  What hope is there for justice for him?

37 Responses

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  1. “We live in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded. I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. My existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you want me on that wall, you need me on that wall. We use words like honour, code, loyalty. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent defending something. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a weapon, and stand a post”
    Come along leave the armchair and give this a try…just for one day.


    June 17, 2010 at 7:40 pm

    • I am a fervent supporter of the police. They do an almost impossible job in an increasingly difficult world but thugs, oafs, idiots and brain-dead morons like Smellie undermine and destroy the good name of every decent police officer.

      We, as citizens, are entitled to expect a high standard of behaviour fom our police who are paid and trained to have restraint, judgment and common sense. We expect a higher standard than from thugs, yobbos, demonstrators and scum. When a police officer behaves like Smellie he is worse than any of these.

      You make many assumptions about me. The one assumption I am entitled to make about you (if you are a police officer) is that I can trust you. Those that break that trust are worthy only of condemnation without mercy.

      If you can’t carry that responsibility don’t do the job.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 17, 2010 at 7:56 pm

  2. When State tolerance of police misconduct ceased to surprise it could only continue to disappoint.

    Dr Melvin 'Banned from most police blogs' Gray

    June 17, 2010 at 7:57 pm

  3. I’m a consultant to the private and public sector (which has included Police forces) involved in developing training programmes for situations exactly as Smellie found himself in.

    Even just taking in account that all I’ve seen of the case is the video clip in discussion I can say that Smellie’s actions were completely by the book and as per Home Office guidelines.

    That he has been found innocent by a jury simply confirms this.

    While the techniques used to manage situations involving confrontational and aggressive groups (and individuals come to that) can appear to the uninformed as unnecessarily violent they have been shown time and again to be the most effective and safest for all concerned.

    While there are plenty of criticisms that can be made of the Met this isn’t one if them. In fact, given that I’ve read that at the time of the incident Smellie had been on duty for 36 hours and still acted in such a professional manner I’d say he is example of a bloody good copper.

    Peter Smith

    June 17, 2010 at 8:17 pm

  4. Peter,

    First of all I’m glad that you trust us. I don’t think any of us in our right minds pretend that we’re all paragons of virtue. I can think of several colleagues who I don’t think the job would miss and rest assured I would speak up against them if necessary as I don’t want them undermining the job that I love.

    Having set my stall out I am going to now confidently say that the sergeant in question did nothing wrong at all, both by the book and morally. I have been lucky in my service that I have not had to strike a woman – it goes against the grain for all of us. This woman ignored all requests to back off, was pushed away and responded by throwing a liquid at him.

    I don’t think you can call him a thug without suggesting a viable alternative to his actions that would work in a real public order situation. So what would you have suggested? What corse of action would you have undertaken to control this woman determined to escalate her behaviour?

    PC Anon

    June 17, 2010 at 8:37 pm

  5. The fact that this nonsense even came to court is ridiculous. The woman had been given several warnings and pushed away several times before she got struck with the baton, she still choose to aggresivley confront the officer and get in his face and as a result recieved a baton strike. This whole incident is entirely her fault. As for Tomlinson, what we don’t see is Tomlinson standing in the way of Police vehicles as they try to get down the road, then before he is pushed he is deliberatly and drunkenly obstructing the Police line shuffling along with his hands in his pockets, again, the whole incident was his own fault, if he wasnt being a muppet in the first place, the officer wouldnt have had to push him. Police brutality??? Try living on the continent, the cops over there will show you what Police brutality really is!

    Probationer Con, sorry student officer

    June 17, 2010 at 8:42 pm

  6. “Whatever the evidence” is a all-encompassing phrase, plonked in the middle of this almost-stupid rant against the Police, in which you claim to want to trust us, but obviously have none in us at all.

    Are you suggesting that if I am caught on camera beating an innocent and passive member of the public, that I would be allowed to run free afterwards?

    The IPCC pursue Officers with zeal when there is something to pursue, and with more zeal when there is nothing in an allegation.

    You have shreds of the evidence that the courts have, but with your quasi-intellectual, bespectacled stare, you make judgement against someone who has faced more than you ever will.

    I almost hope one day, an Officer has to use violence in order to help you, to make you more appreciative that there are people around who will do what they have to do, to keep other people safe.




    June 17, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    • Why are you reduced to insults?

      What do you know of what I have faced in my life (you might be surprised)?

      I understand what it is to make spilt second judgments that may result in the use of extreme force (much more than a baton).

      If you get it wrong you should admit it. If you can’t deal with it, get out of the job.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 17, 2010 at 9:14 pm

      • Peter,

        I intended no insults there.

        ‘Stupid’ – was refering to trivial or ill-informed.
        ‘Bespectacled; – was refering to the image you portray yourself as.

        I meant no insults there, but I stand by what I said.



        June 17, 2010 at 9:35 pm

    • It was the quasi-intellectual” I didn’t like! C’mon I’m a genuine intellectual (in an armchair, apparently)!!

      Peter Reynolds

      June 17, 2010 at 9:46 pm

  7. You clearly have an axe to grind by this and previous posts. While this is your blog and you are of course free to post whatever the hell you want on it, please do not attempt to dress your OPINION up as FACT. Here’s a fact for you: the court that acquitted the Sgt was fair, just and independant. Accept it and move the DELETED on.

    Nobody liked seeing Nicola Fisher get a back hander and a baton strike, but the fact is that she provoked both of them and if you dont understand how or why she did so I would suggest reading up on modern-day policing via any number of well-written blogs by officers.

    That said, I suspect given your blog and posts elsewhere you have no interest learning the facts of a situation or entering into a reasoned discussion, but are purely aiming for propogation of your own standpoint.


    June 17, 2010 at 8:56 pm

    • You say I have an “axe to grind”. Yes I do. I’m interested in justice and I see the police as an essential part of that.

      Please don’t use foul language on my site. It demeans you and it’s unnecessary. Your obscenity has been deleted.

      Of course I want to “propogate my own standpoint”. I wouldn’t be bothering otherwise would I?

      There’s little substance in your comment although at least you have the decency to say that no one liked what happened.

      Thank you for that.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 17, 2010 at 9:19 pm

  8. Peter Reynolds
    I do what he does. I would be proud to be in his shoes. He was approached from behind by a violent, vociferous crowd, one of whom was Ms Fisher. He reacted by outstretching his straight arm and shouting “Get back” Ms Fisher ignored him. More than this she threw (unknown description or amount of)liquid upon him. In law this is assault. He gave a sweep of his arm within his personal space and repeated “Get back”. She ignored him and came toward him again. Only she knew what her intentions were at that second. He had been assaulted by her and had the next nano-second in which to decide how to react under threat from the crowd, one of which, and repeadetly ignoring him, was Ms F. He correctly, lawfully drew his baton. She did not react by running away, she didn’t heed his warning to move back. He struck her, not across the head or rib cage, nor where vital organs are exposed, but on a muscle mass that might temporarily disable her but cause no permanent damage. He then put his baton away. Brutality? I think not, nor did the court that judge his innocence. If support for the police is like you portray, we’ll do without it, thank-you.


    June 17, 2010 at 9:06 pm

    • Peter,

      The above is experience talking. This is a real officer who has clearly been in the same situation as the goodly sgt. I recognise his experience because I also have endured many public order scenarios, most recently one of the many EDL demonstrations.

      These are comments from well reasoned, experienced and clearly level-headed officers – not armchair experts. Do these comments make any impact on your view at all?

      PC Anon

      June 17, 2010 at 9:17 pm

      • Who’s an “armchair expert”? Do you expect a reasonable reply when you start like that?

        Well you’re going to get one even if you don’t deserve it!

        Stand back. You have lost touch with common sense.

        This giant brute reacted with massively disproportionate force against a tiny woman who was exercising her right to protest and who undoubtedly felt intimidated by the outrageous, now discredited, “kettling” tactic that the police were using.

        He was a professional, supposedly highly trained, but he lost it, big time.

        And you are so foolish that you try to defend him?

        Dump him. He is bad news for all of you. He let you down. He should have been grabbed by his team and exfiltrated before he went rogue.

        Peter Reynolds

        June 17, 2010 at 9:29 pm

      • Peter,

        You have not suggested that you have ever participated in a public order event as part of a police serial and I have to think you would’ve mentioned it by now if you had. Reaasonably I then believe that you are an “armchair expert” as you have never experienced what we do and yet have the arrogance and audacity to tell us how best to do it.

        I am not in the slightest bit foolish and have not insulted you so please practice what you preach and show some restraint in your replies.

        Thanks for your reply, though, but you didn’t really answer my query. You have again commented on what the sergeant should NOT have done but haven’t come up with a single alternative tactic.

        Until you do I’m afraid that, for me, your argument is quite toothless.

        PC Anon

        June 17, 2010 at 9:57 pm

      • “arrogance and audacity”?

        No, it’s called free speech. I’m entitled to my opinion. Don’t rubbish it just because you don’t like it.

        I’m not a policeman. I haven’t been trained to deal with such situations. That doesn’t mean I don’t know what’s wrong.

        I’m sorry but I do think you are foolish to defend him. He let all you good coppers down.

        He could have just backed away couldn’t he?

        OK, that would have required him to control his rage and his ego but isn’t that what he’s trained for?

        Don’t get me wrong, the mouthy b***h would have wound me up too.

        That’s the job. I admire you for doing it – but not him.

        Peter Reynolds

        June 17, 2010 at 10:22 pm

      • This is exactly my point. Your lack of experience shines brightly in your suggestion. He absolutely could NOT have backed away for two main reasons:
        – my memory of the footage is that he had nowhere to physically back away to.
        – I have been massively outnumbered at every single public order situation I have worked. Our authority (real and perceived) is all that stops us getting overrun and badly hurt. To back away from anybody – especially one you have already made attempts to control – is to invite disaster for you and more importantly your colleagues who are relying on you.

        That’s not to say we can use whatever force we want in order to maintain that facade of authority. However Sgt Smellie used progressive levels of force to press his point home exactly as we are all trained. Of course it is unpalatable to watch but that does not make it wrong.

        PC Anon

        June 17, 2010 at 10:42 pm

      • Thank you Anon for your intelligent, interesting, articulate contribution.

        I don’t claim any experience.

        I think he did have room to back away but we could argue that ad infinitum.

        I understand that going in hard straight away is safer for everyone. I really do.

        It was wholly, completely, totally disproportionate.

        I can deal with him “getting off”. What really worries me is how did he manage it? What forces were at work which enabled this travesty of justice?

        Peter Reynolds

        June 17, 2010 at 11:20 pm

      • This will be my last contribution on this subject and I think it has the potential to sound quite arrogant and argumentative though it is not intended to.

        Where we are disagreeing is obviously on proportionality. I believe our views are wholly incompatible on this topic because where you BELIEVE the sgt was impulsive and violent I, having completed many public order and PST refreshers, KNOW that he wasn’t!

        In case you didn’t pick up on it that was the potentially arrogant bit!

        I will elaborate. When I joined the job I was aghast at the thought of hitting anybody. I didn’t think we were allowed at all! Then when I realised that we were and why it all began to make sense. We have (basically) primary and secondary target areas to go for and we are told to hit them (kick, punch or baton) at 110%. If we are aiming at a muscle mass (thigh or bicep) then that is a painful but very much non-lethal strike. Its intent is to ensure compliance rather than for retribution and it is with that intent that Sgt Smellie used it. To be inflamatory, in my opinion the only thing he did wrong was not to use full power as we are taught! But this only indicates to me just how calm he still was even after her provocation.

        As for him getting off I think the above addresses my views on that too. Of course there are groups within groups who scratch each others backs in my job but they did not assist this case in any way. I can understand your frustration – as can any copper on here who sees most of their cases dealt with by weak courts – but I can assure you that there was no conspiracy in this matter.

        PC Anon

        June 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

      • Ditto my last thank you. A pleasure to debate with you.

        Peter Reynolds

        June 18, 2010 at 8:49 am

    • I respect your point of view. I don’t by any means imagine that it is an easy job. I also recognise that we need the ability to respond to potentially violent disorder, so some section of the police has to be appropriately trained.

      My problem with Sgt Smellie’s conduct and that of other policemen seen at both the Gaza and G20 protests is that their actions were completely disproportionate.

      A comparison can be made with the actions of the soldiers who went rogue on Bloody Sunday.

      I can understand the training behind his actions based on the way you relate what happened. I say that his mindset was wrong and that he was wildly overreacting.

      The principle aim of police in such a situation must be to facilitate lawful demonstration. They must not set themselves immediately against the demonstrators although clearly, if the line is crossed, then there must be a proportionate response.

      I accept that the crowd was vociferous, not that it was violent. She may have committed a technical assault by splashing Smellie with orange juice but it was trivial and his response was massively over the top.

      He is trained for this situation. She was never any serious threat. It is a pretence of paranoia and a weak excuse to suggest that Smellie could in any way have felt seriously threatened by her.

      The Court, disgracefully, judged him by entirely different standards to those that would have been applied if Smellie’s and Fisher’s roles had been reversed. In fact there should be different standards but entirely the other way round. We are entitled to expect far higher standards of restraint, calmness, cool judgment, patience and forbearance from a policeman than from a demonstrator.

      Sgt Smellie should be in jail today with at least two or three years in front of him and his career in ruins. Except that deaths were not caused, his acquittal and exoneration even of disciplinary action is a scandal on the same level as the Widgery Report which tried to whitewash Bloody Sunday.

      Sorry it took me a while to respond to you. Much as I’d like to do this all day long it doesn’t pay the bills!

      Peter Reynolds

      June 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm

  9. “excersing her right to protest?” Yes people are rightfully entitled to do that, but when you attack a police officer or anyone else that goes beyond a persons right to protest and that person should expect the officer to defend himself and others. The officer was restrained if anything, he gave plenty of warnings and used his hands to push her away at first before having to use his baton to her leg when all else failed. I would probably agree with much of what these so called demonstrators were protesting against (in reality they are generally nothing more than rent a mob thugs), but there is a way to go about it in a civilised mannor instead of violently.

    Probationer Con, sorry student officer

    June 17, 2010 at 9:50 pm

  10. What a narrow minded view.

    YOU go to work every day and not know if you’ll come home to see your family.

    YOU get punched, kicked, bitten and assaulted and watch the suspect get away with a slap on the wrist at court.

    YOU work 12hr days where you see Rape, Murder and Death.

    The TSG officer was doing his job against an arrogant, abusive and violent woman.

    Think about it people. We’re here to make your life safe. To protect you. To help you. Thats why WE join the job. We want to help, but sometimes are put in positions where we have to do uncomfortable things.

    MET PC

    June 17, 2010 at 11:57 pm

    • Thank you for doing the job. I wouldn’t do it.

      Peter Reynolds

      June 18, 2010 at 12:28 am

  11. Amongst so many insults appearing here and on police blogs I trust you will not include being mistaken for me, as one of them.

    Many of these bigoted detractors have little talent for reasoned discussion, preferring to substitute a well practised fluency in obscene crudity.

    Gadget is only a fraction more subtle, providing encouragement and space for the taunting of critics.

    UK citizens must never consider the arming of such rabble until a major cull of bad apples has been completed.

    Dr Melvin 'Banned from most police blogs' Gray

    June 18, 2010 at 9:23 am

    • Yes, well they’re not all thugs but quite a lot of them are. See PC Anon above for proof that intelligent life does exist on Planet Plod.

      The thing that makes me really snigger though is the pathetic, bullying gang mentality that, eventually, they revert back to. I’m surprised I lasted so long on Inspector Gadget last night but, yes, now he’s barred me. He couldn’t take it any more so he got out his baton and beat me into silence. He now qualifies for my Hall of Shame.

      The thing is they’re all still ranting on over there, calling me names, congratulating themselves on how clever they are. You’re right, Inspector Gadget does encourage taunting. He’s done it to me before. It’s that playground bullying, gang mentality again. They’re institutionalised you see.

      Now I can’t answer back, aren’t they big, brave boys?

      Peter Reynolds

      June 18, 2010 at 10:35 am

      • One must be thankful for small mercies, Peter.

        Gadget was finally driven to acknowledge your abilities when he emailed the lesser police blogs with his coded instruction to ‘watch out for you’.

        Dr Melvin 'Banned from most police blogs' Gray

        June 18, 2010 at 12:29 pm

      • I was looking forward to your reply to my contribution. I tried to take you through the scenario factually and objectively, in the (apparently vain) hope you might be persuaded to move from your somewhat biased stance. Where does my reasoning fail?


        June 19, 2010 at 10:24 am

      • AliG, I am responding to you above following your original comment

        Peter Reynolds

        June 21, 2010 at 5:54 pm

  12. ? ? ?
    Its been 2 days now. Have you thought of a response?


    June 23, 2010 at 8:38 pm

    • Look a little closer!

      Peter Reynolds

      June 23, 2010 at 9:27 pm

      • Beg your pardon. As has been said, your perspective will always be without the experience, which ‘there is no substitute for. There is no such thing as a ‘technical’ assault. YOU cannot judge whether the threat she presented was serious or not. It WAS juice, only established with that fantastic attribute you rely on, hindsight. I cannot understand how the description of ‘peaceful protestor’ could ever apply to Ms F and it is to those and those only that the benefit of the rights of freedom to protest are bestowed upon. Her stature has no bearing in the matter; she is peaceful or not. You admit her action(s) were unlawful so it follows the court verdict is sound. As for facilitaing lawful protest, look what we’ve inherited. Tents in Parliament Square. Sections of the community unable to walk in parts of London for fear of assault(EDL/Asian youth this Sunday) and at what cost to the taxpayer? the modern police service bends over backwards to facilitate protest. The cost of short notice protest runs into millions, peaceful or not.


        June 24, 2010 at 5:48 pm

  13. Any criticism of police is as heinous a crime as Banquo’s murder and the ghost follows you everywhere.

    Dr Melvin 'Banned from most police blogs' Gray

    June 24, 2010 at 6:29 pm

  14. BTP is also worth testing for Gadget signs, Peter.


    July 1, 2010 at 5:39 pm

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