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Caveat: once went to a talk by Paul Lewis and chatted to him after. Really nice chap.
but it looks like it wasn't "unlawfully" enough to get a conviction.
Since 1990 over 1400 people have died after contact with the police. No convictions.
but this is a criminal court, not an internal tribunal, so we can't really point the finger of corruption here can we?
The jury's verdict, after four days of deliberations, brings about something of a legal contradiction: 14 months ago another jury, at the inquest into Tomlinson's death, ruled that he was unlawfully killed by Harwood. The inquest ruling was made on the same burden of proof as a criminal trial, that is, beyond reasonable doubt.
Neither jury heard details of Harwood's prior disciplinary record, which can only be reported now. This includes how he quit the Met on health grounds in 2001 shortly before a planned disciplinary hearing into claims he illegally tried to arrest a driver after a road rage incident while off duty, altering his notes to retrospectively justify the actions. Harwood was nonetheless able to join another force, Surrey, before returning to serve with the Met in 2005.
He allegedly punched, throttled, kneed or threatened other suspects while in uniform in other alleged incidents.
and the intuitive feeling is that he should have been found guilty, but this doesn't prove anything apart from the inconsistency of the jury system
The trial hinged on two key questions: firstly, whether Harwood's actions amounted to a criminal assault; then, whether they directly led to Tomlinson's death.
The first issue was simple, the prosecution argued: Harwood carried out "a gratuitous act of aggression", Mark Dennis QC told the jury. Harwood had recklessly abandoned the police van he was designated to drive to arrest a man seen writing graffiti on another vehicle. Humiliated when the man wriggled free, he opted to join a line of other officers clearing a pedestrian passageway by the Royal Exchange complex.
But in his evidence Harwood said he had been separated from his van by a threatening crowd before following orders to clear the passage. He insisted his actions towards Tomlinson were correct at the time, a version of events supported by two other officers at the scene called as defence witnesses.
The issue of cause of death saw the testimony of the first pathologist, Dr Freddy Patel, who reasserted his belief that Tomlinson died from heart failure, placed against that of Dr Nat Cary, who told the court that even a relatively small amount of internal bleeding would have caused death. The jury was not told that Patel has twice been suspended by medical authorities for mistakes in other postmortem examinations and is no longer on the Home Office's register of approved pathologists.
in OTHER words DESPITE the fact that he is caught on video assaulting Tomlinson and that 3 out of 4 pathologists assessed the cause of death as internal bleeding consistent with the injuries of assault Harwood had 1 pathologist and 2 colleagues testifying in his defense and THAT could clearly be where the corruption lies and was enough to secure 'reasonable doubt' in the minds of the jury (apparently)
You don't hear that term much these days
Now we can draw a line under the whole sorry business.
You can't call them Red Indians anymore either.
but I don't see how a defence of appropriate force stood up.
There's video of him battering people (including a press cameraman) and then video of him smacking and then decking Tomlinson who just happened to have been wandering passed him. He doesn't seem to be using force very appropriately from the footage that the BBC has been showing.
This guy has a huge knot, and is therefore a bit scummy and probably guilty. Still, being scummy is not a crime in itself. He has been judged innocent by a group of his peers. We should accept the decision and move on.
On a side note, his wife looks simulataneously like both his mother and his sister:
Because, yeah, you're so right.
Maybe they live in a house with sunlamps everywhere and no dark glasses.
I can understand why the jury would not be informed of Harwood's prior disciplinary record but surely the pathologist's credentials are of specific important when assessing his evidence?
knowing that he had a history of being a raging thug with discipline and anger management issues.
Just because he has been accused of beating people in the past doesn't mean he did it this time (apart from that video we've all seen of him doing it).
That's why I understand why details of Harwood's past were not disclosed. They have no bearing on guilt in a specific incident.
I guess I just see a distinction between that prejudice and the prejudice you might have against the medical opinion of a deregistered doctor.
ie that the doctor was deregistered over an unrelated incident
I think however that there are grounds in the doctor's case to make that known to the jury as it does effect his credibility as a witness in this trial
Where is the value in being tried by your peers if you don't trust your peers to properly value and weight evidence?
surely the counsel for prosecution could/should have argued for disclosure of Dr Patel's record to the jury on the grounds that it is highly relevant to establishing the outcome of the case
maybe the prosecution team was a little weak or maybe even complacent having already won the opinion of the jury in the inquest inquiry
Unless these people believe justice in this country should be decided by lynch mobs?
the only one I've seen is the one where the policemen gives the guy a little shove and he trips over
They must have censored the one where the policeman truncheons the fuck out of him.
where the secrecy of jury deliberations is frustrating.
I can only see two grounds on which they might have acquitted him. (1) They decided that he didn't (legally) cause the death. (2) They accepted his defence.
I find both difficult to accept. If anything I think (1) would be a more defensible ground for acquitting him than (2). But even then I'm not sure where the reasonable doubt is. The inquest verdict is a bit of a red herring - the prosecution don't need to show that his actions were the only cause of the death. Just that they were one substantial cause among others. And that now seems pretty difficult to dispute.
The inquiry was initially left to detectives at City of London police, which had jurisdiction over the Square Mile. The IPCC held back from independently investigating the death, even after discovering witnesses had come forward to say they had seen Tomlinson attacked by a police officer, and photographs had emerged showing the newspaper seller lying at the feet of riot police.
When the Guardian released video footage of the incident, the IPCC at last took over the inquiry, but not before visiting the newspaper's office with a City of London police officer to ask for the video to be removed from the website. They argued that the footage would jeopardise any future investigation, and it was upsetting the family. Neither claim turned out to be true.
The following day, Tomlinson's widow and children were called to a meeting with the IPCC and City of London police, where the video was replayed to everyone present. Crampton warned the distraught family about the difficulties in identifying a man whose face was concealed behind a balaclava, and whose badge number was not showing. HE SUGGESTED TOMLINSON'S ATTACKER MAY HAVE BEEN A MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC WHO HAD STOLEN A POLICE UNIFORM. An IPCC investigator, Chris Mahaffey, would endorse the comment, saying the theory the man attacking Tomlinson was a police impersonator was a valid one that "needed to be explored". The family, on the other hand, saw it as a bizarre, almost incomprehensible comment, which led them to question the impartiality of the nascent inquiry.
was how quickly it became public that Tomlinson was an alcoholic. The implication being 'this guy wasn't a respectable member of society, so he wasn't 'innocent'.'
the fact that Harwood wasn't wearing his police badge at the time, and that he has a history of violent behaviour towards colleagues and the public.
that a shove on the back and pushing to the ground is considerably less force than being pinned by several burly men and then shot in the face 7 times so you have no face left.
What I want to know is, where is the underground train video footage of that? (or dont they have cctv on tube trains?)
that footage would probably break records on youtube