The Barcelona provincial court has rejected to carry out an investigation into the head of the Spanish riot police for the violence that occurred in the Catalan capital on the day of the independence referendum of 1 October 2017. The judges have also decided to not look into the head of investigation or the provincial head of investigation of the Spanish national police, contrary to the wishes of the Catalan government and a number of people who were injured during the events of that day and hoped to bring them to court.
According to the judges, there is no evidence the officers sent to polling stations were ordered to “act forcefully” or that the police operation was designed to be “severe and violent.” Additionally, this would mean that officers on the ground as well as their direct superiors who were there with them would allegedly be responsible for instances in which voters were injured due to police charges, not the higher ranking members of the force who were not there.
The court argues that any possible “unnecessary and disproportionate use of violence” or “excessive use of force” that took place on the day of the referendum in Barcelona would have to be assessed on a “case by case basis.” Throughout Catalonia, 1.066 people required medical attention following Spanish police charges that were carried out in an attempt to stop the vote.
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