'It's a balaclava, apparently. No doubt it will be described as essential protective dress. But looking at the video film and photographs of the "territorial support group officer" who has just taken his baton to Ian Tomlinson minutes before the newspaper vendor's death, I'm wondering: why does a British policeman in pursuance of his duties feel the need to be masked?
There's another mystery. In one still, Tomlinson is sitting on the ground before the police line, being aided by a stranger. There are eight helmeted officers and two dog handlers in shot. Of these, only three have balaclavas. Two wear the garment normally, covering the chin. The third, having stepped aside after his attack on the passer-by, has the thing high on his face, leaving only the eyes showing. And his shoulder tabs, the tabs bearing his police number, have gone.'
Why Do The Police Need Masks (from Sunday Herald) (external - login to view)