28/02/2014

Kelly Withdraws PSNI Legal Action

Sinn Féin MLA Gerry Kelly has said he is no longer taking legal action against the PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott, it has been reported.

Earlier this week, it was revealed that Mr Kelly – who is also a Policing Board Member – had lodged legal proceedings in relation to an incident that occurred in north Belfast last June. At the time, the incident saw Mr Kelly carried on the bonnet of a police Land Rover. It happened during a disturbance in the Carrick Hill area of the city were tensions were high following the annual Tour of the North parade.

Kelly has said he had tried to stop the police Land Rover in order to speak to officers who had arrested a 16-year-old boy, but he argued that the officer drove off, with Mr Kelly clinging to the front of the PSNI vehicle.

Since the altercation, both Kelly and the driver of the vehicle responsible have received and accepted informed warnings over their behaviour.

However, on Thursday, the North Belfast MLA said his decision had "increased local political tension" and was therefore withdrawing legal proceedings.

He explained: "Issuing the writ seems to have increased local political tension and created an unwanted diversion from more pressing issues. So, in this instance I have decided not to pursue the case."

(JP)

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