The police behavior was absolutely inadequate to the situation. This is an abuse of power – this is how attorney Michał Wawrykiewicz from the “Free Courts” Initiative commented on the police intervention against Civic Coalition MP Kinga Gajewska on TVN24. He pointed out that the officers “should be held responsible for this.” He added that even if an ordinary citizen were in the MP’s place and she acted as Gajewska did, the police “could not legally behave as they did.”
The MP from the Civic Coalition was forcibly taken to a police car by police officers and dragged into it. The incident took place in Otwock, where the Prime Minister’s meeting was taking place Mateusz Morawiecki, recorded by the TVN24 camera. The Warsaw Police Headquarters issued three announcements regarding the incident. She stated that the police did not know that Gajewska was an MP. Gajewska herself, MP Paweł Zalewski present at the scene, as well as people in the crowd loudly informed the officers that they were intervening against the MP.
Wawrykiewicz: it was absolutely an illegal intervention
The case was commented on TVN24 by attorney Michał Wawrykiewicz from the “Free Courts” Initiative.
– In my opinion, it was absolutely an illegal intervention, even scandalous. The behavior of the police (was – ed.) absolutely inadequate to the situation – he said. He pointed out that the police “took away her freedom for a short time, detaining her and locking her in a police car.” – Earlier we saw that they were pulling and holding her hand. Absolutely inadequate measures, he commented.
– Even if they suspected her of committing a crime, that’s not how you should react. And the moment they found out that she was an MP, they should immediately stop any actions. They should possibly ask for a parliamentary ID card. After all, the MP did not run away anywhere, she did not leave the scene of the incident, the lawyer continued.
He added that he considered the police officers’ behavior “an abuse of power and they should be held accountable for it.”
TVN24 reporter Jan Piotrowskiwho observed and reported the incident, emphasized that the MP’s release after being locked in the police car took place very quickly.
As attorney Wawrykiewicz continued, perhaps the police intervened against the MP in connection with a possible offense of disturbing a public meeting, i.e. Article 52 of the Code of Petty Offenses. – But – as I say – this is an offense punishable by a fine. Therefore, if such an accusation were to be brought against her, there are appropriate procedures for it – he explained.
At the same time, he pointed out that “an MP must not be detained.” – He is protected against this by the constitution, article 105. He is protected by the Act on the exercise of the mandate of a deputy and senator, article 10. The police cannot do it consciously and, what is more, in such a brutal way, using violence.
In one of the messages after the incident, the police wrote on Tuesday evening that “the intervention was not an arrest” but was “taking a person suspected of a misdemeanor to identify themselves.”
A deputy or senator may not be detained or arrested without the consent of the Sejm or Senate, except when he is caught in the act of committing a crime and if his detention is necessary to ensure the proper course of proceedings.
A Member of Parliament may not be detained or arrested without the consent of the Sejm, except when he is caught in the act of committing a crime and if his detention is necessary to ensure the proper course of proceedings. The Marshal of the Sejm is immediately notified of the detention, who may order the immediate release of the detainee.
Wawrykiewicz: even if it were an ordinary citizen, the police could not legally behave like this
Wawrykiewicz was also asked whether if it were not an intervention against the MP, it could be considered standard.
– Also no, because, as I said, if we were dealing with a suspicion of committing an offense under Article 52 of the Petty Offense Code, i.e. disturbing a public gathering, the police may apply appropriate measures that are appropriate to the situation – the attorney pointed out.
– If the suspect ran away, if he used force, if he tried to break away, then the police could use adequate measures to prevent the suspect, for example, from leaving the scene of the incident. However, here, regardless of whether Mrs. Gajewska has a parliamentary mandate or not, she behaved absolutely calmly, she tried to explain, she tried to explain, she tried to identify herself, but she could not do it in a situation where she had her hands were tied and the policemen were brutally pulling her, he said.
– So even if it was just a citizen, a protesting activist during a demonstration, the police could not legally have behaved the way they did – he added.
The capital police issued a statement regarding the incident on Tuesday evening. “When the police intervened in Otwock against one of the people, they were not aware that they were dealing with the MP. Immediately after presenting the MP’s ID card, the ID card activities were discontinued,” we read.
The second message added that “this intervention is subject to explanations by the Control Department.” “We emphasize that police officers do not know all persons with immunity. They obtain the necessary knowledge only after presenting their ID cards,” it was written.
“We emphasize that today’s intervention was not an arrest. It involved taking the person suspected of committing an offense to a police car for identification purposes. The activities were discontinued immediately after presenting the identification card,” the post added later added.
The next entry appeared a few hours later, shortly before 11 p.m. This time, the police also published a recording of the intervention against the MP – from the camera on the uniform of one of the policemen.
“We are transparent. The recording is complete, uncensored, thanks to body-worn cameras that we systematically equip police officers with. Police officers are not obliged to know each of the 460 MPs and 100 senators,” it was written.
Kinga Gajewska, guest of “Kropka nad i” on TVN24, referred to the words of the police, who explained that the police were not aware that they were intervening against the MP. – That’s not true. The police were informed many times by the entire crowd, by MP (Paweł – ed.) Zalewski and by me personally, individually – she pointed out.
Main photo source: TVN24