The police charged with breaking into a party with a kick in the door during the pandemic: "It was the only way to put an end to the crime"
The judge of Madrid Jaime Serret, who is investigating the case against the six policemen who on March 21 stormed, without judicial authorization and knocking the door down, in an illegal party in a house during the state of alarm due to the pandemic, has incorporated It is caused by the images that the agents recorded with their video cameras. The recording, of just over half an hour, gives a different view from that recorded by one of the occupants of the house with his mobile phone and that they were the only ones known so far. In the new video, of which EL PAÍS reproduces several fragments, it is seen how the agents try to convince the participants in the party to come out and identify themselves, to punish them, and, in the face of their refusal, how the agents try in vain open the door without damaging it by inserting a plastic between the frame and the lock,to later try it also without success with a tool. Finally, the agents use a ram to break down the door. "It was the only way to put an end to the crime," said this Friday one of the agents in his statement as a defendant before the judge.
In the video recorded by one of the occupants of the house, a young woman was seen refusing to open the door if the agents did not carry a court order. After an exchange of words, the policemen broke down the door. Subsequently, nine of the 14 people who participated in the party were arrested and charged with a crime of serious disobedience to authority, although they were released hours later. In their report, the policemen stressed that their actions had been covered, among other legal precepts, by the citizen security law, known as the
which was endorsed by the Constitutional Court last January. In the first instance, a judge agreed to open proceedings against the nine detainees for the crimes of resistance or disobedience to authority and coercion.
However, the Provincial Court of Madrid filed this case in a car in which it was pointed out that the policemen could have committed "an excess in the exercise of authority". The complaint filed by the young man who had rented the house and who was participating in the party gave rise to the imputation of the agents. When the controversy broke out days after the event, the Ministry of the Interior defended that the agents had intervened within the law and argued that the house "would not constitute a dwelling" as it was supposedly a tourist property and that, therefore, the judicial authorization to enter. This argument was publicly rejected by numerous jurists.
In the video provided by the Police to the court at the request of the magistrate, the agents are seen insistently ringing the doorbell of the house at one in the morning while music and screams are heard on the other side of the door. In the absence of a response, one of the officers knocks on the door with her defense — the baton. Only then do the noises cease. "Police, open the door," they ask without an answer before insisting. "We know they are inside, we have heard the music and the laughter," they insist.
One of the agents points out in those first moments his suspicion that it is a tourist apartment and asks again for the door to be opened, this time in English. "Please, we do not want to use force, open the door," they reiterate on several occasions. At that moment, the head of the operation, in which six agents participated, issued the first warning: “Gentlemen, the National Police is speaking to you, [...] if you do not open the door, you will be committing a crime of disobedience to authority . They have to go out and identify themselves ", he warns them before announcing that if they do not do so they will use force to enter" to verify that the 'anticovid' measures dictated by the state of alarm are not being breached ".
The agent adds that if they finally have to enter by force, it would be a serious crime and that they would proceed to arrest them. "It is a serious issue," he insists. Shortly afterwards, the dialogue between one of the young women who is inside, and who refuses to let the police through the door if they do not go with a court order, and the agents, who begin to try to force the door, begins. . “The one they are making out for not opening the door. They are in a tourist apartment, it is not a home, so they do not have the right to be inside if they are not complying with anticovid measures ”, adds the agent. Failing to open by other means, the police finally resort to a battering ram. "Stay away from the door lest I hit someone", asks the head of the operation. 15 minutes have passed since the agents arrived at the scene.
After hitting 17 times with the ram, the door is beaten and the agents enter the house. "Everyone with their hands in sight, for safety," one of the agents demands, while others assure them that there is no problem with them recording the police action with their mobiles: "We have told you the legality of it" . At the same time, the agents demand that the 14 people who were inside at that time, none living together, put on their masks "immediately." Shortly after, the person in charge of the operation informs them that they are all detained for a crime of serious disobedience to the authority and informs them of their rights. After being registered,The images show how the agents put the shackles on several of the participants in the party - the five who alleged that they wanted to leave the house and identify themselves were not arrested, but that the rest did not let them - and how the young woman who argued with them through the door continued to question the legality of the police action. The police recording forwarded to the judge ends at 1:54 a.m., almost an hour after the policemen rang the bell for the first time.