Police officers who kicked female driver will be dismissed

Topical issue

Police officers who kicked female driver will be dismissed

15. 03. 2017 13:00

Police officers who kicked a 22-year-old female driver in the head in August 2016 will be dismissed from the force in the foreseeable future, claimed Police Corps President Tibor Gašpar at a session of the parliamentary human rights committee on Tuesday. Gašpar also informed the committee of measures designed to prevent such behaviour in the future, albeit conceding that they might not be 100-percent effective. "There's no measure to completely prevent such cases from occurring. There are 23,000 police officers and some 600 patrols on the streets communicating with people, which equals 1,200 officers. Approximately 1,000 of them are assigned to criminal proceedings. Some powers will always be applied by them and not all need necessarily sit well with people, but that's what supervisory mechanisms are for," said Gašpar.

Among the systemic measures the police have passed or are planning to approve are attaching cameras to police uniforms, changes to guidelines governing the use of force, raising the minimum recruitment age from 18 to 21 and more hours of periodic training, including psychological preparation. Gašpar emphatically condemned the behaviour of the officers who took action against the 22-year-old driver. "I can tell from the video that it might even constitute an attempt to cause grievous bodily harm because she was being kicked in vital organs such as the head," he said.

The video of the police arrest of 22-year-old Michaela was published by the Nový Čas daily. When she disregarded a police warning to stop her car, the officers fired their guns at her vehicle thirteen times. When she did pull over, they kicked her repeatedly in the head as she lay on the ground, despite the fact that the young woman was defenceless and had been shot in the chest and through an earlobe. Three of the officers face charges of being an accessory to the abuse of a public official's powers and could be sentenced to between four and ten years in jail if convicted.

Gavin Shoebridge, Photo: TASR

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