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Catalan police defy criticism to back officer who shot knife attacker

Official says "extreme seriousness" of the assault justified shooting man dead, but far-left party and relatives of aggressor show skepticism



21 August 2018 04:56 PM


ACN | Barcelona

The Catalan police have "no doubts" about the reaction of  one of their officers to being attacked in the Cornellà de Llobregat police station, near Barcelona, on Monday at 6am.

Armed with a knife, the assailant "aggressively" leapt on the officer who opened the door for him, with a "clear intention" to kill, according to the police. The officer shot him dead after giving him "warnings," says the head of the Mossos d'Esquadra Catalan police, Andreu Martínez.

"The police attitude was correct, proportional, appropriate, coherent," said Martínez, who claims that the assault was of "extreme seriousness" and that the officer was left with no alternative.

"After carrying out all police procedures, it is not pleasant, but she had to shoot this individual," he said on Tuesday afternoon.

Family considers suing police

The remarks come only shortly after the attacker's family made it clear that they are considering suing the police force for shooting their relative dead.

  • "The mission of the police is not killing criminals"

    Carles Riera · Far-left CUP MP

According to their lawyer, the actions of the police "did not comply with the law."

Far-left party against "execution"

Meanwhile, the far-left pro-independence CUP party has also criticized the shooting of the attacker.

One of its leaders, Carles Riera, called the incident an "extrajudicial execution" and has asked the Catalan home affairs minister for an explanation. "The mission of the police is not killing criminals," he added.

Trade union backs officer

However, a union representing the police backed the officer, because "nothing else could be done."

"We have acted like a European police force," said union spokesman David Miquel.

Yet, Miquel also pointed out that the attacker would still be alive if the officer had been able to shoot him with a 'taser' gun, an electroshock weapon, instead of her regular firearm.



  • The Catalan police director general, Andreu Martínez, on August 21, 2018 (by Pere Francesch)

  • The Catalan police director general, Andreu Martínez, on August 21, 2018 (by Pere Francesch)