Well, the words "Knowingly false" aren't directly referred into the report, they are my words,
Right, and I don't think anything broadly equivalent is used either.
Nowhere does the report make references to a police officer (or politician) alleging that Liverpool fans urinated on the dead. In paragraph 2.12.71 the Panel reports that:
"Several statements referred to fans urinating at the rear of the stands rather than leaving via the stairs to use the toilets. [The example of a statement of a Hillsborough steward is referenced] One police officer alleged that fans had deliberately urinated on police officers."
Right, so it seems pretty clear that there were fans urinating in the stands and that that fact was horribly twisted an exaggerated by the press.
As I say, you read the report and a picture is painted of too much being made of individual statements - not of systematic and planned lying.
Section 2.12.99 states the following:
Some officers were injured and some stories were told to the Secretary [Middup] which were horrific. One story being that a policewoman who was giving resuscitation was urinated on. Other police officers were verbally abused and had stuff thrown at them and spat on. Some officers saw people picking coins up from the floor which had obviously come from the victims. Mr Middup said that was how it was portrayed to him that night by individuals under tremendous strain.
Section 2.12.106 of the report states the following:
PC Middup considered that there were two issues requiring clarification: 'they were that he was told the supporters were seen to be picking up items from the floor and the policewoman was urinated on'. Mr Booth 'stated that one of his men said he had witnessed people picking stuff up from the floor around the dead bodies'. (Name redacted) commented that other officers had been 'urinated on'.
The first sentence of section 2.12.65 reads:
In scrutinising disclosed documents the Panel sought evidence that would corroborate these allegations.
So I might have been more correct to say there were allegations of fans urinating on police officers who were tending to the dead bodies, rather than fans urinating on the dead, but I don't think that changes the point I was making; The authors of the report took the approach of looking to try and corroborate the allegations against the Liverpool in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. These include the urinating allegations, theft from dead bodies, sexual comments towards a dead Liverpool fan, fans spitting at police officers. They couldn't find any. The match was live on TV, there was CCTV. No evidence of fans urinating on anybody. It is pretty hard for there to be a grey area when making accusations of being urinated on. It was a sunny day, it wasn't raining. So if there was no evidence to support the urinating allegations, and remember the report paints a picture of a police force going to great lengths to remove blame from themselves onto fans, so they are hardy likely to be sitting on evidence of fans urinating on people and not producing it, then surely we have to assume that these statements are false, and in fact no urinating took place. I therefore standby my original comments. These statements, based on the information in this report, were extremely likely to be knowingly false.
bristol_Wanderer3 wrote:Of course we already know that match commander Mr Duckenfield lied straight away about fans pushing the gate open, something that was mentioned in the initial Taylor report.
Well yes - I refer you to my original overarching point which you first took exception to, which is that the report tells us very little that is new and this supposed watershed is somewhat artificial.In scrutinising disclosed documents the Panel sought evidence that would corroborate these allegations.
I made the point about Mr Duckenfield instinctively lying, to show that lying was perhaps in the culture of the police force. Just like he instinctively lied to defend himself, perhaps the police officers making statements instinctively lied also.
I still disagree with your overarching point:
This report does the following:
1.) It makes it public for the first time that a large number of statements were altered and mostly to show the police force in a better light.
2.) It shows the process of how the headlines disgracing Liverpool fans were produced and that there was indeed no evidence to support these headlines.
3.) It shows the thinking of senior police officers and MPs. It paints a picture of, how did you put it?...."ad hoc arse-covering" on a rather grand scale.
4.) It confirms, for the first time, that the 3.15 cut off time was incorrect, and that the verdicts were thus made on the wrong basis.
For most people who haven't taken more than a passing interest in Hillsborough these are major revelations and completely change the narrative about the whole disaster. I would have imagined a majority of people still thought that the fans were mostly to blame for the disaster until this report came out, and probably believed some of the headlines about the fans produced in the immediate aftermath. For the families of the dead, this report is hugely significant for obvious reasons. And it does provide the basis for further investigations, or re-investigations into cause of death, and corruption between local authorities involved in the disaster and the aftermath.
In your original post you mentioned you can't see why there is such attention paid to conspiracy theories and cover ups. From what we now know we have the following picture.
1.) Senior police officers lying within minutes of the disaster taking place.
2.) False information in police officers statements.
3.) MPs, Senior police officers, and the SYP federations collaborating with a press agency, resulting in the printing of allegations against fans in the national press that were never backed up with any evidence.
4.) A CCTV tape mysteriously disappearing.
5.) The involvement of a police force as an investigating force that were involved in a notoriously corrupt crime unit that had to be disbanded (I refer to the WMP, and the serious crime squad), including the appointment to the Hillsborough team of an officer (Stanley Beechey) who had been suspended pending his role in the serious crime squad.
6.) Police officers been put under huge pressure to change statements by the WMP.
7.) Due to changed versions of events, the imposition of the 3.15pm cut off time by a coroner working very closely with the WMP meaning huge amounts of evidence potentially damaging to the police not presented at the inquests.
8.) Poor legal representation for the families, and the legal representation they did receive imposed on them whilst they were unable to think straight in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.
9.) A second inquiry in 1997 that, despite the original versions of the altered statements being available, could not use them due to the terms of reference of that enquiry, which basically could only consider completely new evidence.
If you, after having the best education possible, and someone who is potentially going to be involved deeply in the legal system in this country, can't see the possibility of a cover up there, then there isn't really much hope. I can only assume you so passionately want to believe that the system works, and doesn't do bad things, that you can't see the obvious.