"They threw motorcycles at us": the police officers' narrative of the alleged violence on 1-ONational Police officers have stated that voters on 1-O were "actively very violent"
In this Tuesday's sitting of the Catalan independence trial, National Police officers have continued to take the stand as witnesses to describe how they experienced 1-O.
"Actively very violent"
The first officer to take the stand was officer number 102.476 who acted, among other places, in Escola Pia de Sant Antoni in Barcelona.
The witness stated that he encountered "strong and violent opposition" there, but he admitted that the citizens gathered did not attack them, but rather, "made a fuss" to impede their job:
"At first there were people who threw themselves at us. They were actively very violent. The resistance was strong and violent resistance. There was much struggling, movements of arms and legs."
"There were no direct aggressions with hands up to the face, but there was much fuss, many kicks and other actions intended to significantly impede police tasks."
Barriers, cobblestones and motorcycles
According to him, "there was more violence when we left than when we entered", when barriers and other objects were thrown at them:
"Objects were thrown, yellow construction work barriers were thrown, traffic cones were thrown, they threw all kinds of things. They attacked the vans. We had to leave escorting the vans and, in order to get into them, we required protection to leave the polling stations."
The witness went so far as to state that the people gathered had "prepared" cobblestones to throw at the police:
Jaime Moreno: "What were some of the objects they threw at you? You said they threw traffic cones and barriers"
Agent 102.476: "Cobblestones, cobblestones... There was some construction work going on nearby... they were easy to throw."
Jaime Moreno: "Prepared, you say?"
Agent 102.476: "Yes, that is how I interpret it."
Later, when questioned by Andreu Van den Eynde, the defence counsel of Oriol Junqueras and Raül Romeva, he added a new object that was allegedly thrown at them: motorcycles.
"Now that you are asking me, it was because they threw al kinds of things at us, even, I forgot to say so earlier, they even threw motorcycles at us, they threw a motorcycle at us."
"The thing is that there was an attitude of physical confrontation here, even attempting to provoke us and to reach direct confrontation. I am talking about the withdrawal: and force was used."
Kicked at the Plau Claris school in Barcelona
This officer explained that he was injured in another intervention, at escola Pau Claris.
When questioned by prosecutor Jaime Moreno, he explained that he was kicked in the hand, but, when questioned later on by Van den Eynde, he said the kick was not intended for him:
Van den Eynde: "Do you mean by this that you believe that you were struck by a foot when reaching to take someone out, or that someone kicked you?"
Agent 102.476: "No, no. I received several kicks. Here, being on the ground, keep in mind that people were resisting actively in order not to be lifted up, it was therefore not an act of kicking me but rather, while thrashing about to oppose resistance in order not to get up, they thrashed about with their legs, hands, their legs and others."
When questioned by this attorney, the officer contradicted himself, first stating that they did not use their batons and, immediately after that, that they did:
Van den Eynde: "Did you use your regulation batons to move people?"
Agent 102.476: "Not to move them."
Van den Eynde: "Did you have to make use of force by striking at people?"
Agent 102.476: "Yes."
Van den Eynde: "How did you strike them?"
Agent 102.476: "According to regulations. We aimed the baton at non-vital areas, in the lower body, at the legs."
Van den Eynde: "Ah, very well. Therefore, did you strike at people with the batons?"
Agent 102.476: "Yes, I used the baton and struck at people when I had to go assist some of our teams who had been surrounded while leaving."
"There was a door moving towards me"
Another officer, an inspector bearing number 82.279, who acted in a number of polling stations in Tarragona, was also registered as injured on 1-O.
He was struck in the ribs at the Campclar Civic Centre in Tarragona when he attempted to enter to seize the ballots, and he believes he was struck by a door at the entrance:
Jaime Moreno: "How were you hit?"
Inspector 82.279: "It was during the struggle. The people inside attempted to close the door, we were struggling with them and, suddenly, I felt a blow to the ribs. I do not know if it was the door, but there was a door moving towards me. I do not know. I was struck in the ribs and I had to withdraw for a while."
This witness explained that the doctor told him he would be in pain for two or three weeks and that he should take painkillers. He added that he did not go on sick leave, and he justified it by saying that they were "short on hands", because they had already seen that "the Mossos would not help them."
"They closed the glass doors"
This inspector, who intervened in four more polling stations on that day and who also signed the reports for two of them, stated that in the Sant Pere i Sant Pau school in Tarragona, people sat behind closed glass doors in order "to be injured":
"The next one was Sant Pere i Sant Pau. In this school, when the people saw us arrive, they closed the door and sat down. There were 50 or 60 people. They sat behind a metal door, occupying the entire space to prevent us from entering, and another group closed the glass doors to the school and sat down behind them so that, if they were broken, they would be injured."
4 police officers injured in the Tarragona College
This witness stated that the place where there were the most confrontations with voters was the Tarragona College, where "4 colleagues were injured":
"There were 50 or so people outside. We entered and, in the courtyard, there were 200 or so people. We notified the commander, we attempted to have them allow us passage and, at a given moment, noticing that they had overwhelming numerical superiority, they pounced on us. There were struggles, blows, 4 colleagues were injured, two of them were kicked in the testicles. Another was scratched on the arm, and the fourth was struck in the back."
He later admitted that he was in front and he did not see how the people "pounced" on the officers. One of the attacks, a kick to the testicles, was recorded on video:
- Catalan independence trial