The kick in the door, before the judge. The six agents of the National Police investigated for trespassing after accessing a home on Lagasca street in Madrid, on March 21, have declared this Friday before the head of the Investigative Court number 28 of the capital, Jaime Serrat.
According to sources present at the interrogation confirm to EL ESPAÑOL, the police officers, who have answered the questions of all the parties, have justified their decision to access the home without a court order.
They did it knocking down the door with a battering ram, which caused a deep controversy when a video, recorded from inside the house, was massively disseminated on social networks. To the extent that this performance served as political weapon to attack the Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska. Now, this newspaper publishes the images taken by the agents from outside the property.
In front of the judge, the agents have declared that their actions “were in accordance with the Law”, given the “repeated refusal” of several of the people inside the apartment to identify themselves. “If that had happened, the intervention would have ended there,” said one of the agents in court.
Inside the building, that early morning in March, around fifteen young people were celebrating a party, something prohibited by the restrictions against Covid-19 derived from the declaration of a state of alarm throughout Spain.
Faced with what the agents considered “a possible crime” -the continued opposition, for half an hour, to go out on the landing and show their ID, behavior that they believed that the administrative fault already exceeded-, the command in charge of the patrol gave the order to burst the door, after having tried two other techniques to access the home.
The policemen have provided the Court with the recording made by the so-called body cameras, installed on their uniforms. EL ESPAÑOL has had access to said clip.
The agents have also told the head of the Investigating Court no. 28 that his action was relevant, since inside the home there were people who did want to go out to the landing and deliver the documentation, and who, according to the patrol, could be suffering possible constraints.
Likewise, they have told Judge Serrat that, upon arriving at the property, alerted by “desperate neighbors”, they complained about the constant noises, “from Thursday to Sunday”, which came from inside the denounced address. As reported this Friday in court, neighbors protested “for the inconvenience caused by a floor dedicated exclusively to parties” and “people going down and up the common stairs, often without a mask.”
For its part, the tenant of the property has reiterated that did not authorize entry into the apartment. His lawyer, Juan Gonzalo Ospina, defends that there was no criterion of urgency or necessity that justified the use of force and denies the commission of any crime. In his view, the behavior of his client would be, at best, an administrative offense.
Precisely believing that it was a tourist apartment when they saw what appears to be a card reader next to the lock, the agents ordered the door to be opened in Spanish and English. “Please, open the door. Open, police” (“Please open the door. Open up, cop”). This is stated in the more than half an hour of video, recorded by the body cameras that the policemen wear in their uniforms, consulted by this newspaper and which has been provided to the judge this Friday.
One of the policemen yells: “I know they are hearing me and we know they are inside. This is the National Police. If they do not open the door, they would be committing a crime of disobedience to authority. They have to go out and identify themselves, okay? A tourist inspection can be done inside the property to verify that the Covid measures, decreed by the state of alarm, are not being breached “
And he reiterates: “I repeat: either open the door or we will proceed to use force to access. In your case, they would be committing a crime of serious disobedience, which would lead to our arrest, because it is a flagrant crime. It’s a serious matter. “
In a first attempt, as shown in the images, they try to pick the lock. Another second is also useless. They are identified with their license plate numbers and they try to get the door open for them again: “We are going to use force to gain access. Open the door or we use force.”
The agents again suggest, without success, that the young people go out and write down their data: “You open the door and identify yourself, the people inside come out, we denounce them and they leave. But if they don’t open the door, we have already told them that it is a serious crime of disobedience to authority. “
The patrol uses several arguments to try to convince the young people, more than one, a foreigner: “They are in a tourist apartment, it is not a home. The more time they spend inside, the more chances of contagion.”
A female voice, who identifies as a law student, responds: “I do not open the door, because this is my right to private property”. And he tells them that he is recording the scene from inside the building, with his mobile phone: “Pull the door to see what happens; everything is documented.” “Record what you have to record; it is a legal action and we have already justified the legal grounds,” an agent responds. The tense negotiation – the door in between – lasts for almost twenty minutes.
Another attempt by the Police: “They are committing a crime of serious disobedience and that authorizes us to enter the property. And, above all, this is a tourist apartment; even more reason. And even if it were their home we could. If they open, they will they are identified, they are punished, they are evicted and that’s it. He’s going to commit a crime. ” “Won’t they open? Okay, let’s continue,” an agent tries again, unsuccessfully.
In the end the cops choose to bust the door: “Gentlemen, they are raising the ram now. We repeat: we are going to use force and we are going to stop them. It is silly what they are making out for not opening.”
Inside the home, they order the young people to put on a mask. One of them, the owner of the female voice who negotiated with the Police, ends up shackled.
This Friday, before the judge, the agents have considered that their action was justified, since, they argue, the young people inside the apartment were committing a crime. This is also what one of the agents narrated that night to the female voice on the other side of the door: “It is an administrative offense in principle, but he is making it a crime for his conduct”. “It is a rebellious, stubborn, persistent, recalcitrant refusal to carry out the orders that are being given to identify itself,” he warned. “He is disobeying the decree [que declaró el estado] alarm “.
Regarding the possible coercion of a part of the young people on a minority of them – one of the reasons that the agents have used in the courtroom – they recalled during the interrogation that, after the facts, the Prosecutor’s Office ruled against nine of them for this possible crime.
Nevertheless, the Provincial Court filed the case against the youth and he gave a turn to the process: he ordered the judge to investigate the agents, considering that there was “an excess in the exercise of their authority, with violation of the right to the inviolability of the home.” The magistrates of Section 23 closed these proceedings by stipulating that refusing to identify oneself can never be a crime, limiting it only to an administrative offense. The resident of the house, for his part, had sued the agents for trespassing and damages.
Now, the instructor Jaime Serrat will have to send the police to trial or, on the contrary, file the case against him. To do this, you will have to settle the scope of the right to the inviolability of the home -fundamental and included in the Constitution- and the amplitude of the sanitary measures derived from the state of alarm by the Covid-19, which prohibited meetings like the one that these six agents interrupted, after almost half an hour, via kick in the door.
Follow the topics that interest you