Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights will investigate controversial police intervention after which Romani community member Stanislav Tomáš died
Monika Šimůnková, the Czech Deputy Public Defender of Rights, has announced in an interview for ROMEA TV that she will be investigating Saturday's intervention by a police patrol in Teplice after which 46-year-old Stanislav Tomáš, a Romani community member, died. "After watching the video of the intervention in Teplice and reading all of the available information, I've decided to use my competencies and the scope of activity made possible by the law on the Public Defender of Rights with respect to the Police of the Czech Republic to begin an investigation on my own initiative," she told ROMEA TV.
"This investigation will focus on the proportionality of the methods of force used during the intervention in Teplice," Šimůnková said. According to her, the investigation will be launched in the next few days and the results will depend on how quickly the Czech Police provide her office with the relevant materials.
"I don't dare predict the timeframe, it could be weeks, it could be months. I am bound by my duty to maintain confidentiality until the case is closed and the entire matter has been investigated, but I will try to conduct this investigation as quickly as possible," she said.
The incident in Teplice after which Mr Tomáš died happened on Saturday, 19 June 2021, and amateur video footage of the intervention was posted to social media from which it is apparent that Mr Tomáš physically resisted and shouted and the intervening officers used force to restrain him, including kneeling on his neck. News server Romea.cz previously reported the intervening officer knelt on the Romani detainee's neck for several minutes, according to the video.
According to police, Mr Tomáš collapsed and died in the ambulance called to the scene. The video shows that he stopped moving while still prone on the sidewalk.
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