The Constitutional Court reopens one of the best-known causes of the protests that occurred after the judgment of the procés, in October 2019. The court has reversed the decision of a Barcelona judge who filed a complaint for mistreatment filed by a detained minor against agents of the National Police. As indicated in the order, to which this newspaper has had access, the magistrates consider that the right to effective judicial protection of the plaintiff, Guillem S., known as “the boy in the orange sweatshirt” has not been respected for wearing that outfit in the time of your arrest.
The events date back to two years ago, when the young man was arrested as part of the protests in the Via Laietana area, near the National Police station. Images of the young man’s arrest went viral. The videos show how, after several moments of tension between protesters and police officers, the riot police decide to advance to disperse the hundreds of young people who had previously thrown various objects at the police cordon and reduce Guillem S.
The detainee, who was later taken to the police station, reported ill-treatment and torture by the agents. Specifically, Gulliem S. reported that an officer “slapped” him “on the neck” and made him sit on his knees facing the wall, “in addition to insults and threats during his arrest.
The judge does not mention another of the young man’s complaints, consisting of the fact that once in the Police Headquarters building, an agent “slapped the minor” on the neck “and made him sit on his knees facing the wall.” “‘Shut up, kiddo!” Another riot police would have yelled at him, according to the minor.
However, a Barcelona judge closed the case last year, considering that the injuries suffered by the young man were “compatible” with his arrest by the riot police. The “minor injuries” to the minor, the investigating magistrate then considered, “were the consequence of the reduction carried out by the Police” in a context of “extreme violence” by the protesters.
Subsequently, the Barcelona hearing ratified the judge’s decision, considering that the arrest was not disproportionate and that the agents saw the young man “throw objects” at them, for which they immobilized him, laid him on the ground on his back and placed the shackles. “Obviously the action is violent because the minor did not want to be detained, but we cannot dismiss it as disproportionate,” the court magistrates highlighted at the time.