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Tukums residents protest against police investigation of tragic fire

On Wednesday, April 28, friends and supporters of the dead Normunds Kindzulis gathered in a protest in Tukums against the police investigation in the case, Latvian Radio reported.

The police are investigating several options after what happened in Tukums, when Kindzulis was drenched in fire accelerant and lit, dying of his injuries Wednesday. It was first presumed to be a homophobically motivated hate crime preceded by threats which had allegedly been reported to police but never acted on. The protesters also disagree with another police version that a crime may not have occurred at all. This suggests that the police are investigating the possibility of Normunds' suicide.

Protesters gathered in front of the police station before the announcement of Kindzulis' death.

"Our goal is to reveal the crime the way it has to be. Not that he is buried as a suicide, because we all know it wasn't suicide. Normunds, as a medical professional has 1,001 different ways of committing suicide less painfully. Not igniting himself and then begging for help," said protester Laura.

The protesters also reminded of the threats allegedly made to Normunds Kindzulis, to which the police in their view had not responded sufficiently.

“There was a conflict in the workplace, but there have been a number of text messages, and at first he turned to police in 2020, but later he did not address it because he knew no one would do anything about it,” explained the picket organizer Ivita.

Among the pickets was also the victim's friend, Artis, grandmother, who said Normunds was like her own grandson. She is shocked at the news circling public space about Normunds' possible mental health issues.

“I would like to ask [Riga East Precinct Prosecutor Katažina] Carova, if the investigation has not been completed, what rights does she have to state to the whole country that Normunds is unqualified and that he has some criminal responsibility. How can she? A medic who is really a terrific medic, he the head of the ambulance brigade, and all colleagues praise him. He's a guy with the capital letter,” said the woman.

Eight people participated in the picket, in accordance with the epidemiological safety, but there are many more supporters. They also collect signatures for the dismissal of the employees of the State Police Tukums precinct, because this is not the only case where the police, according to the population, have not responded appropriately.

State Police Zemgale Region spokeswoman Dace Kalniņa said she did not agree with the rebukes expressed by the picketers.

“The state police underline that in a democratic country everyone has the right to express their views, and the police have also expressed their views in advance. We believe that this investigation is being carried out objectively, all possible information is being verified. We call on the public to understand that the investigation takes time,” Kalniņa said.

The tragedy that occurred in Tukums is being investigated not by the State Police's Tukums precinct, but by the Department for Combating Severe and Serial Crimes of the Zemgale Region. On the other hand, regarding the decision of the Tukums police station to refuse criminal proceedings in the autumn regarding the threats received, a service inspection shall be carried out by the Office of the Internal Control of the police.

 

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