The head of the Catalan Police Mobile Intervention Brigade on Jordi Sànchez's attitude on September 20: from "arrogant" to "conciliatory"The officer, at the trial of the Catalan independence process: "After some calls had been made, the leader of the ANC changed his attitude to a 'much more correct' one"
Josep Maria Camps
Jordi Sànchez following the declaration of the head of the Police Intervention Brigade on September 20, this Monday at the Supreme Court
The head of the Catalan Police riot brigade, the so-called Mobile Brigade BriMo, as per its initials in Catalan , whose members intervened on September 20 before the Ministry of Economy, has described the attitude of Jordi Sànchez on that day to be "arrogant" and "haughty".
The chief officer, currently promoted to a mayor and identified under number 5422, has explained that he received the order to easen the departure of the judiciary committee from the Ministry.
"He strongly required me to remove the Mobile Brigade"
According to the witness, of whom neither his image nor his name were made public, the then president of the ANC "strongly required" him to remove the Mobile Brigade towards 9 o'clock at night:
"At first, the attitude of Jordi Sànchez was haughty, arrogant and complicated for me to deal with, because he strongly required me to withdraw the Brimo. He told me: 'What you are doing is not what we agreed upon, just get out of here.' I told that I was the head of the Brimo, that I had very clear orders, consisting on getting to the Ministry and finding a way out for the judiciary committee, and that there was no way I would not get to the Ministry."
"At that exact moment, Sànchez pulled out a mobile phone, telling me he would call the President and the Minister, and insisting on us leaving the place. I told him to do what he had to do, and -this is actually recorded- I told my partner before me: 'Record it.' Then Mr. Sànchez made a call. I do not exactly know wether he spoke to the Minister, but I do recall and can repeat his initial words, which were: 'Rapero is crazy, 's'ha begut l'enteniment'', which is a Catalan phrase that means 'he is gone crazy', 'Get your Mobile Brigade out of here.'"
"These are the words I heard. Then he turned around and I couldn't listen to anything else of what he spoke. When he hanged up, he told me that Trapero would soon receive a call, and then we would leave. My answer was: 'You can call the Pope of Rome, if my command chain does not give me the order, I will go inside the ministry.'"
"He went from a haughty attitude to a more correct one"
The officer ensured that Jordi Sànchez showed a change of attitude right afterwards, when they spoke again that very night:
"The sub-inspector called me again and told me that Mr. Jordi Sànchez wanted to talk to me. I approached him, and, in that moment, his attitude had completely changed."
"The arrogance, the haughtiness I saw at the beginning turned up into a more correct attitude. Before me, I had a much more conciliatory person to a great extent. He even gave me his mobile phone number. I didn't know him at all, and I asked him to give me his phone number. I then wrote it down and used it later on."
This chief officer of the Catalan Police ensured that from that moment on, Sànchez offered him help and coordination.
"I decided not to reach the Ministry"
To questions of Xavier Melero, defence counsel of Joaquim Forn who summoned the testimony, the head of the Mobile Brigade stated that it was impossible for them to reach the Ministry at the beginning, and it took a long time for them to establish a police access cordon and to make it possible to free the way for the judiciary committee:
"The moment I access the police cordon, I notice a wide rejection from the people gathered there. They started screaming at us and throwing us bottles and some objects. The volunteers began to disappear, because the pressure of the people gathered there caused the cordon to disappear, and when I saw a bottle hitting the police partner behind me, I decided it was better not to reach the Ministry."
As he explained, despite his inmediate superiors insisting that he should get to the entrance of the Ministry of Economy, he refused to try again for a long time.
In this sense, he said that he refused to use batons to break through, as they could have provoked a very dangerous avalanche:
"I could have used the defense, which was at that moment the tool I could have been authorized to use, because the people at the front line were pushing and shoving, but the thousands of people behind them were still, and they were so many, they couldn't move. It could have caused an avalanche, a greater chaos, and I wanted to avoid that happening."
Cuixart, much more collaborator
To questions from Jordi Pina, defence counsel of Jordi Sànchez, the witness admitted that this defendant helped him dissolving the crowd in front of the Coliseum theater when the secretary of court number 13 had to leave.
He also said that both Sànchez and Cuixart, with whom he spoke a little, clashed with the protesters while demanding them to hold a peaceful attitude with the agents of Mobile Brigade deployed there.
He has described Cuixart's attitude as "much more collaborative and cordial":
"In relation to Cuixart, the only thing I can say, and this is is true, is that he maintained a much more collaborative, cordial and coordinated relation with me at all times."
"The little I talked with him, it had nothing to do with the initial attitude of Jordi Sànchez. But to be fair, Sànchez's attitude changed later on, when I was deployed."
"The helicopter police unit verified that glasses had been broken"
As for the Guardia Civil cars in front of Economy Ministry, this chied officer of the Mobile Brigade stated that he knew that there were large weapons there at midday, but that they could do nothing to recover them until almost 12 hours later.
As he explained, when the concentration started dissolving after 12 o'clock at night, there were still 3,000 or 4,000 people left, and he was told to get to the vehicles and protect them:
"I was ordered to organize an operative to reach and guarantee the protection of the vehicles, as it was observed by the helicopter that its windows had been broken and people were looting the vehicles, starting to access their interior. As there was a concrete risk regarding the weapons within them, I was told to plan an operative to reach the vehicles and establish a security perimeter."
"They had their party at night"
The witness said that there were far fewer people then, but with a very different attitude from the one experienced during the day:
"When they say that it was festive, they had the party at night, because the floor was full of beer bottles. And when we deployed we received a shower of beer bottles."
"When I get to that point, I tell the Intendant I don't believe it to be feasible to get to the vehicles, because thousands of people were sitting in front of them, and there were people on top of the vehicles too, so I couldn't see the way of getting to them."
The chief officer of the Mobile Brigade stated that they indeed had to use force by then to get there, and that getting to the vehicles finally took them a lot of effort.
- Catalan independence trial