Emily attacked the Crown Prosecution Service’s decision not to press charges against the police officer filmed assaulting Ian Tomlinson moments before his death in an Urgent Question in Parliament yesterday.
Fifteen months after Ian Tomlinson’s death and despite video evidence showing PC Simon Harwood striking him from behind, the expert testimony of two pathologists, and the advice of the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the CPS controversially concluded that a conflict in the medical evidence meant there was no realistic prospect of a conviction for manslaughter. Furthermore they were taking no action against the officer for assault.
Ian Tomlinson’s family solicitor called the decision “a disgrace” and is considering whether the decision can be reviewed.
Emily challenged the Attorney General (Dominic Grieve): “Does the right hon. and learned Gentleman believe that if a member of the public had launched an unprovoked attack on a police officer that was immediately followed by the officer's death, and if that incident was on film, a pathologist of highly dubious professionalism would have been appointed to investigate and that that pathologist would have been allowed to throw away samples that could have proved the link between the assault and the death?
Does he also agree that it would be highly unlikely, even if one were to leave aside the evidence in connection to the manslaughter, that there would be no action on the assault…
We have all seen the film. The man was clearly assaulted. How can the CPS have taken 15 months to come to no conclusion? It’s not going to take any action. I suggest that that would not be the case if the tables had been turned… This shows that there is no equality before the law. If the right hon. and learned Gentleman agrees, what is he going to do about it?”
Dominic Grieve replied that he understood the dismay felt by Emily and the public over Ian Tomlinson’s death, but that he had no reason to doubt the conduct of the investigation.
Dominic Grieve responded: “Anyone, as I said, who saw the video of what happened must be seized with very serious concern about the matter. It's a view I entirely endorse and therefore for the same reason I am extremely unhappy, as I'm sure everybody in this house is, that we should be in the position that we are in today with such a complete lack of clarity in the matter.”
Dominic Grieve added that once the IPCC had concluded its report, an inquest would follow and the Metropolitan police would consider disciplinary action against the police officer. Mr Grieve stressed that if further evidence emerged during Mr Tomlinson’s inquest, the CPS decision could be reviewed.