The trouble in the Lavapiés quarter of Madrid began after a police officer asked to see the papers of an illegal street vendor from Senegal. A group of Africans took exception to this treatment of their comrade, and that’s when things went sideways…
Many thanks to our Spanish correspondent Hermes for the translation, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling of this eyewitness video:
Below is the accompanying ABC.es article, also translated by Hermes:
The local police open an investigation into the shots in Lavapiés
It will be a formal procedure, the results of which will not be made public
The local police have opened an internal investigation in order to throw light on the circumstances of what happened yesterday in the quarter of Lavapiés when one of the agents who carried out the detention of an illegal vendor shot twice into the air in order to disperse a group of Africans who were insulting the police after one of their mates was arrested.
According to the information given by a spokesperson for the local police, this kind of investigation is opened whenever an agent opens fire with his service weapon. It is an internal proceeding carried out by the police force of the town hall, the results of which are not made public.
The incident was being heavily commented on today in the neighborhood as well as on the Internet, where the news and the video of the two policemen arresting the suspect, and the clash between them and the immigrants, were published yesterday by ABC reached a wide audience.
In the police station
Regarding the detainee, a man from Senegal, the local police stated that he had already been handed over to the national police, which is responsible for the keeping detainees in custody, and if so determined, to bring them to court. According to the police version, the man was caught by surprise by plain-clothes officers when he was illegally selling goods near the Rastro [street market]. When the agents asked him for his papers, he tried to flee.
According to judicial sources, the majority of these kinds of detentions end with the detainee being released from the police station itself. The illegal vendors are usually not prosecuted, but a report is issued by which they are later called to court. The issue would be more problematic for the detainee if he has no valid papers. In this case, he could be imprisoned in a migrants’ internment center.
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