A 30-year-old man was taken to a police car and abandoned a few kilometers away in the woods. The next day, walkers found his body. Two former police officers from Piątek (Łódź Voivodeship), who have already been expelled from the service, have the status of suspects in the investigation. The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights inquired about the findings so far, informing about the content of the response received from the police and the prosecutor’s office.
We wrote about this case on tvn24.pl many times. In the evening of April 2, 2021, the policemen were called to one of the houses in Piątek (Łódź Voivodeship) to intervene in a family row. A woman who reported that her 30-year-old son was drunk and violent needed help. The house where the brawl took place was well known to the local police – there had been more than a dozen interventions in the last two years and family members had been blue-carded. The 30-year-old ended up in a police car. Then – as the investigators found out – the policeman was to injure him seriously, which led to the man’s death. The next day, the body of the 30-year-old was found near a forest a few kilometers away.
A 33-year-old policeman heard accusations of causing serious damage to health, resulting in the death of a man. He is also to be responsible for the violation of powers, unlawful deprivation of liberty and violation of bodily inviolability.
– The status of a suspect is also a 34-year-old officer, who has been presented with allegations of failure to fulfill obligations, certification of untruths and exposing a 30-year-old man to direct risk of loss of health or life – said Krzysztof Kopania, spokesman for the Łódź district prosecutor’s office shortly after the incident.
There was a policeman in a cell, an ex-policewoman at large
Soon after the tragedy was publicized, the decision to release the officers was taken by the provincial commander of the police in Łódź. As emphasized by its spokeswoman, junior inspector Joanna Kącka, the decision was made “due to the important interest of the service”.
– When making our decision, we relied on the findings of the prosecutor’s office to date – said Kącka.
Former policemen were arrested. The strictest preventive measure is no longer applied to the officer. A man, who until recently was selected by his superiors as a role model, is waiting for the end of the investigation in this case. Shortly before the death of the 30-year-old, he received the award for heroism, together with a partner from the service he put out a car fire on one of the properties. Now he is even facing a life sentence.
The police respond to the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights and talk about the changes
The Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights became interested in the death of the 30-year-old from Piątek. Its representatives quoted in letters to the provincial commander and the district prosecutor the standards resulting from the jurisprudence of the European Court of Human Rights, from which it follows that in the event of the death of a person under state control, the Court implicitly assumes that it occurred as a result of the actions of officers and it was on the state the obligation to prove otherwise is falling.
Nadinsp. Sławomir Litwin, Provincial Police Commander in Łódź. He stressed that after the events of April 2, personnel changes were carried out and “the supervision over the performance of patrol and surveillance services was intensified”. He noted that after the death of the 30-year-old, two other policemen also faced disciplinary consequences – one was released, the other was suspended.
The commander also noted that the management staff is “to a greater extent involved in the issues of severance pay and service accounting”. All this so that – as the commander wrote in his position at the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights – similar tragedies would not occur in the future.
The prosecutor’s office in a letter to the HFHR informed that an investigation plan had been drawn up in the proceedings. Due to the secrecy, she did not want to disclose any detailed findings.
Tomasz Patora, reporter “Notes!” TVN, determined that the habit of taking away tipsy or rowdy Piatek residents was quite common. Several people told him about it in front of the camera.
Such was the fate of the 30-year-old brother, who died after a police intervention.
– I was taken away (the police – ed.) And I was hit with gas in my eyes. And I walked home. It was about three weeks ago, the man said then.
Police officers intervened in one of the apartments in Piątek in early April
Main photo source: TVN