Riot police must be “proportionate” to avoid “violent escalation” in Barcelona, urges Mayor Colau

May 26, 2016 06:21 PM | ACN

The eviction of squatters from the so-called ‘Expropriated Bank’ in Barcelona’s Gracia neighbourhood has caused three consecutive nights of riots in the city and has raised concerns in the press about an excessive use of force by the police. The Mayor of Barcelona, Ada Colau, urged the police to avoid “a violent escalation”. Colau, a former activist herself, said that she trusts the Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan Police, but admitted to being “worried” by reports that suggest that the riot squad’s behaviour was disproportionate. “I don’t know and I don’t want to prejudge anything. I trust the Mossos but I need to ask for caution and urge all police actions to aim at avoiding any escalation of violence”, she said, asking the officers to, first and foremost, “protect the neighbours”. Meanwhile, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is investigating former mayor Xavier Trias, who for a year paid the rent of the ‘Expropriated Bank’ in order to avoid an eviction.