A JURY in Spain has absolved two National Police officers in Madrid of any wrongdoing after they smashed down a door in March 2021 to break up a party that was in violation of Covid-19 restrictions.
The lawsuit was filed against the police in July of the same year by a British resident of Spain who was renting the apartment.
The sentence from the Madrid Provincial Court was made public on Thursday, and in it the judges point to the ‘constant and obstinate refusal’ of the youngsters who were inside the apartment to open the door to the officers and identify themselves.
As well as violating the Covid-19 rules in place at the time, the occupants of the apartment were also playing loud music that could be heard throughout the building, prompting complaints from neighbours that they could not sleep.
The ruling finds that ‘a serious offence of disobeying the officers was being committed’, thus absolving the officers of the charges against them, which included forced entry.
The police used a battering ram to force their way into the flat in the upscale Salamanca district in central Madrid where the party was taking place, after having requested that the occupants open the door and identify themselves as many as 28 times over a 45-minute period, according to Spanish press reports.
A video taken by the occupants of the flat as the police forced their way into the property soon went viral on social media.
Officers found 14 people inside, none of whom had ‘any protection measure’ against Covid, and who were ‘unjustifiably violating coronavirus restrictions’, according to the ruling.
In July 2021, the lawsuit filed by the British expat in question was accepted by the courts. The officers in question were accused by the private prosecution of forced entry, using ‘excessive and disproportionate force’, and of having ‘besieged’ the property’ without ‘legitimate cause’.
The private prosecution was demanding four-year prison sentences for the officers.
The sentence slammed the attitude of the British tenant of the apartment and the other attendees of the party as ‘clearly reprehensible’ and pointed to the ‘scant regret’ they displayed during the trial.
While the public prosecutor in the case was calling for the officers to be absolved, the private prosecution was calling for prison sentences. The sentence also concluded that this attitude ‘bordered on recklessness’, and ordered the private prosecution to pay the costs of the case.