Society 31/03/2021

Prosecution seeks six years in prison for police officers behind racist attack

SOS Racismo wants them to be sentenced for the crimes of torture and injury

2 min
Image of a concentration that took place in summer in Manresa against this racist aggression

BarcelonaSix Catalan police officers stand accused of attacking a young man in January 2019 in Sasserra (El Bages). The prosecution, led by charity SOS Racismo, seeks a six-year prison sentence and a twelve-year disqualification from the police for the accused, as well as as a €2,700 fine, for the charges of torture and battery. The accusation includes the aggravating factors of racism and abuse of superiority (outnumbering the victim). As for compensation, the prosecution is seeking asks that the three officers accused of battery pay the victim €260, as well as €21,000 between all six for moral damages. SOS Racismo also wants the Department of Home Affairs to assume subsidiary civil liability for the compensation, should the accused not pay.

A long judicial process

The six police officers are part of the Catalan Police's (Mossos d'Esquadra) riot police (ARRO). They continued to work for their unit until in June last year an audio surfaced in which some of the insults could be heard: "You're a monkey. You're a fucking nigger. Go further away than Africa". Since then they have continued in the corps but at a post where they have no contact with the public. SOS Racismo regrets that the case is taking more than two years to be heard, "in a process marked by several appeals by the defence". The latest strategy by the Mossos was to ask that they appear in court with their face covered, but in the end the prosecution rejected it.

SOS Racismo recalls that several pieces of evidence have been provided, such as the audio recording and the identification of the voices of the agents. After the audio was published, two sergeants of the Mossos rectified their statement and were able to identify those involved. According to the examining magistrate, there are "reasonable indications" to determine that the man was humiliated and assaulted, throwing him to the ground and spitting and hitting him, apart from threatening and insulting him: "I'll rip your head off", "I told you on the phone that I'd hit you so hard that would turn white", "What rabble we get in this country" or "Human shit". The entity ensures that this racist aggression "is not an isolated case" in the police forces.