The ‘kick in the door’ that sparked controversy over alleged police excesses at parties in homes or tourist flats during the state of alarm has so far resulted in at least 18 agents investigated for breaking and entering who are summoned to testify in September and October. Two Madrid courts are investigating police interventions in houses in the capital to which the agents allegedly accessed without the consent of the owner, without the authorization of a judge and without having evidence of the existence of a “flagrante delicto”, which are the three assumptions in which, according to article 18.2 of the Constitution, the inviolability of a home can be broken.
Questions and Answers About Illegal Apartment Parties: Is It a Crime? What are the fines? Can the police come in?
The mere celebration of a party in a home even though the restrictions that were in force at that time to face the pandemic were not being complied with – curfew, limitation of meetings with non-cohabitants … – is not in itself criminal and not it would justify a police intervention without judicial authorization. This action would be worthy, in any case, of a sanction through the Citizen Security Law, the so-called gag law implemented with the Government of Mariano Rajoy and that the coalition of PSOE and United We can keep in force, despite its criticism from the opposition. In both procedures, the agents justified their intervention by the refusal to identify themselves of the people who were inside the dwellings, although the refusal to provide documentation is not in itself a crime of disobedience, but a serious administrative offense regulated in Article 36.6 of the Citizen Security Law.
In both proceedings, there have been cross-disputes between the agents and the occupants of the dwellings, although the complaint against the neighbors has only succeeded in one of the cases. It is the one that derives from a police intervention that took place at dawn on December 9, 2020 in an apartment in the Villaverde district of the capital. By virtue of these investigations, the head of the Court of Instruction No. 4 of Madrid, Marcelino Sexmero, has summoned to testify in October for an alleged crime of trespassing on 12 policemen who went to that property alerted by a neighbor, according to anticipated The country. Likewise, the five occupants of the house are charged with an attack on the authorities, whom the Police accuse of preventing their identification and resisting arrests. In their statement before the judge last July they denied having committed any crime, affirms their lawyer, Marina Fernández.
According to the report, to which elDiario.es has had access, the policemen went to the house alerted by a neighbor, who indicated that a “loud brawl” was taking place and that she could hear the “loud screams of a woman” and “a little boy crying. ” Once there, always according to the police account, the occupants refused to open the door and “continually uttered insults and threats” to the officers.
This situation lasted for 20 minutes until, when they pushed open the door, the people inside the house – with “symptoms of having used drugs,” according to the report – caught the foot of a policeman, which led to another agent. to use an inward pepper spray so that the occupants would move away and their partner could withdraw their leg. The police report reflects that the situation of tension continued and that a superior ended up ordering “to enter the home with the greatest haste” due to the “possibility” that a “violent act” had occurred in the home with danger to the home. woman and minor. The occupants were arrested and transferred to the police station, where they were released an hour later without going to court.
The police version differs from that of the occupants, who in the complaint that they presented five days after the events affirm that their action was reduced to that of “some young people making noise in a house, nothing more” and accuse the Police of ” artificially inflate the allegedly committed offense. ” They claim that the agents’ conduct was “serious, unlawful, totally disproportionate and beyond any justification” and deny that they “attacked or attacked” them on the grounds that they were sheltered inside the house. “It is not possible to attack from behind a closed door,” they argue.
They also claim to have suffered “multiple injuries as a result of the police attack” and provide medical reports and photographs to support it. After having taken a statement from the occupants, the magistrate will hear the police officers next October, whom he has cited as “investigated”, according to a ruling dated July 8. There is, at the moment, no report from the Prosecutor’s Office in this case, according to the legal sources consulted.
The viral party of the Salamanca neighborhood
The other procedure derives from the party in a flat in the Salamanca district of Madrid held in March that went viral after a video was released showing policemen forcibly breaking down the door with a battering ram. On July 13, the head of the Investigative Court No. 28 of Madrid, Jaime Serret, admitted the complaint filed by the homeowner, a British citizen residing in Spain and represented by the Ospina Abogados law firm.
The magistrate considers that the denounced events “present characteristics that suggest the possible existence of a crime of trespassing” and summons six agents to declare as investigated for next September 17. It also calls the author of the complaint and two other witnesses who were in the house that night to testify and agrees that the damage caused to the house be assessed, although that expert report has not yet been completed, as confirmed by attorney Beatriz Uriarte.
In this case, the events date back to March 21, when the Police forcibly broke into the aforementioned address. According to the report published by VozPópuli, the police officers justified their intervention in that the youths “were committing a flagrant crime of disobedience” by refusing to be identified. After entering the house, the 15 people who were inside were identified and nine of them were arrested for a crime of serious disobedience to authority. But that complaint was unsuccessful.
Last June, the Madrid Provincial Court upheld the appeal of the tenants of the property and ordered the court that, in addition to not admitting it for processing “for not being the facts constituting a criminal offense,” it would deduce testimony from the agents in case they had incurred in crime for the non-consensual entry into that address. The judges affirm that the agents incurred in “an excess in the exercise of authority, with infringement of the right to the inviolability of the home” and they recall that the obligation to identify oneself affects an administrative disposition and, therefore, “is not criminal in nature. , even less blatant. ” “The people who were inside the home only refused to open the door and thus identify themselves, so there was no fear of a criminal progression or the disappearance of evidence of a crime that had not been committed,” he says the resolution.
The owner of the house denounced the police ten days after the events occurred, in a letter that was admitted for processing on July 13, motivating the summons as investigated of the six agents who intervened in the operation. The complainant accuses the Police of having made “an excessive and disproportionate use of force” and of having “besieged” his home “without any legitimate cause” to do so. “If there was a crime of serious disobedience [cosa descabellada, alega]In any case, there was no flagrante delicto, simply stubbornness on the part of the defendants to show off and display their power, “says the complaint.