Police accused of negligence in possible violent hate crime in Latvia

The State Police has started a service check regarding the refusal of the Rīga north precinct to initiate criminal proceedings regarding a possible hate crime that has caused bodily harm to the victim, Latvian Television reported on August 17.

 The Minister for the Interior Kristaps Eklons has also paid attention to the case called the police action unacceptable.

Over the weekend, a recreational event in Andrejosta, Rīga, ended with a broken jaw, missing teeth, split lip and a concussion for a man who was involved in an exchange of words with several other individuals mentioning Russia-glorifying phrases, according to a Facebook entry by the man's girlfriend.

The victim turned to the police after what had happened, but the Rīga State Police North station, which is responsible for Andrejsala, refused to initiate criminal proceedings. The police did not see a criminal offense, and in their statement, the victim had obtained the injuries by falling.

The victim told the police to check the cameras of the location, whereas the police had responded there were no cameras. However, the victim and his girlfriend obtained video recordings by contacting the place where the conflict took place.

“It just shows that the employees of the State Police's Sarkandaugava station have not even attempted to contact Andrejsala square to see if they know anything about the incident,” the girlfriend wrote on social media.

The description of the event has prompted a sharp reaction on social networks, and in the end, the police, on the basis of newfound information, have finally initiated criminal proceedings for the intentional causing of bodily harm.

“The initial information at the disposal of the state police official indicated that the person was likely injured by falling. At the same time, it can be seen that the official's decision to refuse to initiate criminal proceedings was taken in a reckless manner, without examining all possible circumstances, possibly insufficiently in the case, which was also indicated by the subsequent disclosure of video material showing the conflict. Therefore, the Disciplinary Monitoring Division of the State Police Riga Regional Office started a service inspection,” said the police.

The incident also drew the attention of the Minister for the Interior, Kristaps Eklons, who requested the Chief of the State Police Armands Ruks to also assess the responsibility of the officers' direct management.

“I have full confidence that everything has not happened as it should be. I wouldn't be able to judge to what extent and who has done what correctly. Therefore, disciplinary proceedings are now proposed. We will now assess it very carefully. Negligent behavior on the part of the management can be seen,” Eklons said.

 

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