Czech Police say man with no mask at scene of masked neo-Nazi attack was an anti-conflict officer
The Prague Police have responded to numerous discrepancies and questions raised by the media about Saturday's demonstrations and have officially explained some of the moments that transpired. News server Romea.cz is publishing the police press release in full translation here.
Prague Police Press Release
We categorically reject speculations that, during the clash between the two groups of opposite opinions at the intersection of Thunovská and Zámecká Streets [on Saturday], any of the masked assailants were police officers. We also categorically reject speculations that this incident was orchestrated by police. By now detectives have already managed to ascertain the identities of some of the masked assailants, who are radical extremists from the football milieu. Their behavior, which was documented, will be investigated as is standard when a crime is suspected. Officers will also be investigating suspected misdemeanors against the law on assembly because the assailants masked their faces.
We also thoroughly reject speculations that the man in the video footage wearing a brown jacket and a scarf around his neck was directing the entire incident or aided the attack in any way. Just the opposite! He was a detective who was ordered to serve during Saturday's security measures, and his task was, among other things, to eliminate the possibility of a clash between these two groups of differing opinions. At the intersection of Thunovská and Zámecká Streets, there was the risk at one moment that such a clash might arise, which is why the detective coordinated uniformed police officers in separating both groups using barricades until reinforcements could arrive. In the meantime, he began to communicate with the masked men and did his best to convince them to abandon their attack, which was successful - with the exception of a few objects that were thrown through the air, there was no clash between the two groups. In this context, this officer and his uniformed colleagues deserve enormous thanks for their bravery, because they were not afraid to stand up when they were so outnumbered. As the Director of the Prague Police, Mgr. plk. Miloš Trojánek, said: "I intend to meet with those officers to thank them for their work and the bravery they demonstrated!"
As for the questions and speculations that have been multiplying regarding the fact that one masked assailant was seen to pass through the door of the building at Thunovská 9 during the incident, that building belongs to the Czech Interior Ministry and is used by the Police of the Czech Republic as a base of operations. We have ascertained, by reviewing the video recordings, that this was a random entrance, or rather, an incursion by the protester, who was seeking refuge. Ultimately it did not pay off for him, as it was impossible for him to access the interior of the building further. He almost immediately found himself back on the street.
As far as any eventual, specific errors or suspicions of alleged inaction on the part of the police are concerned, the Prague Police issued a press release yesterday informing the public of the fact that the police procedure in connection with Saturday's security measures in the capital is currently the subject of another investigation by the monitoring bodies of the Regional Police Directorate and the Police Presidium.
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