Czech Republic: State prosecutor says Tanvald shooting was not racially motivated
Czech Police held a press conference today together with the mayor of Tanvald and the state prosecutor to discuss Saturday's public commemoration by Romani residents of the victim of a recent shooting there, as well as possible anti-Romani events on that same day. Mayor Petr Polák and Liberec Regional Police Director Milan Franko discussed the joint measures in preparation.
"We will slightly increase the number of officers on patrol during the public commemoration. Depending on how the situation develops, we will address whether to increase those numbers even more," Franko said. For the time being the police say they have no information about right-wing extremists attempting to disrupt the funeral or the subsequent procession.
The district police force in Tanvald usually has 20 members and four officers were added after the shooting Sunday. Mixed municipal and state police units have been patrolling the town. There are five municipal police in the town of 7 000, all of whom will be on duty this Saturday.
Police are also in touch with the Roma Tanvald Association. "They are a contact between the police and the family of the youths who were shot. By joining forces we are hoping to somehow ensure the dignity of the public commemoration," Franko said. People will pay their last respects to the deceased at the Church of St Francis of Assisi in the Šumburk quarter of Tanvald. The funeral procession will accompany the body to the cemetery for burial and will then continue on to the scene of the New Year's Day tragedy for a public commemoration.
The media is full of various speculations as to what actually happened in Tanvald. State Prosecutor Lenka Bradáčová said at the press conference that she was still unable to provide the public with concrete information. No charges have been filed and evidence collection is still underway. Bradáčová said the case should be clearer sometime next week and that there was no point in speculating until then. She also reiterated that she had ruled out racial motivation for the incident, which she emphasized could have been anything from intentional murder to negligent homicide to necessary self-defense.
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