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Slovak Police engage in yet another dubious intervention against Romani man who was smoking in front of his home without a face mask

20.4.2020 10:57
The April 2020 Slovak Police intervention in Bánovce nad Bebravou (PHOTO:  Facebook).
The April 2020 Slovak Police intervention in Bánovce nad Bebravou (PHOTO: Facebook).

Video footage of a recent incident involving police and a Romani man in Bánovce nad Bebranvou has been posted to Facebook. The video shows police officers arresting a Romani man; according to his nephew, the man had been smoking a cigarette in front of his home and was not wearing a face mask.

The police can be seen using force to subdue the man in the video. What preceded the incident is not included in the footage.

"The officers asked where his face mask was. My uncle answered that his mask was in his house, behind him, and that he was just smoking a cigarette. They asked for his identification, which my uncle also had in the house, and despite the fact that he gave them his information, they wanted to arrest him," said the nephew.

"My uncle did not want to give himself up because basically they had no reason to arrest him. I would like to underscore that the officers did not use the standard arrest method of putting his hands behind his back and handcuffing him. They immediately shoved him against the car and twisted his arm. They pressed on his neck and my uncle was choking. What's more, the officers themselves weren't wearing the required face masks correctly either," the nephew posted to Facebook.

The video shared by the nephew shows the police intervention, but not what led up to it. According to the press spokesperson of the Regional Police Directorate in Trenčín, Pavel Kudlička, the intervention was conducted as per regulations.

"The officers in this case proceeded in accordance with the regulations. The man was arrested for assaulting the officers," the press spokesperson told Romea.cz, adding that the arrested man has previously been convicted of committing felony violence.

The incident is the second one involving a dubious intervention by Slovak police officers against Romani people not wearing face masks in public. A similar incident happened over Easter weekend in Bardějov.

SB, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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COVID-19, Police, Roma, Slovakia



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