Only by accident was the recording of a wearable camera documenting the police intervention against 29-year-old Łukasz in Psie Pole in Wrocław, which ended with his death. The policeman was convinced that he turned off the camera while he turned it on – tvn24.pl found out.
A dramatic recording Mariusz Ciarka, spokesman of the Police Headquarters, presented to the media at a specially organized press conference.
The film begins in the corridor, in front of the apartment of 29-year-old Łukasz, on the night of August 1-2. It was the family who called the police, fearing that a depressed, drugged man could hurt himself. – Due to the important social interest and the police, we are disclosing the recording from the wearable camera – explained inspector Mariusz Ciarka.
A knife appeared in the eye of the camera. You can see that Łukasz was holding him, barricading the door, then the policemen knocked him down with a telescopic truncheon. They also challenged the 29-year-old to reject the knife all the time.
According to our sources, in the Wrocław police and the police headquarters, the recording was made by accident. The policeman, when starting the intervention, was convinced that he was turning off the camera and turning it on. However, later, when – after breaking through the door to the 29-year-old’s apartment – he went inside, he wanted to turn it on, but in fact it turned it off.
Police Officers Cameras
Why did the policeman want to turn off the webcam? The officers we spoke to say they are concerned about the tapes. – Deep distrust of superiors that every mistake will be used for disciplinary or even criminal proceedings. And it’s hard not to make any mistakes in hot intervention, often full of aggression and emotions – they explain.
This is confirmed by the research carried out by Rafał Wasiak, officer of the police headquarters, for his doctoral dissertation entitled “Forensic and legal issues of introducing personal video cameras into the police”.
As many as 41 percent of policemen asked by him said that webcams “will lead to excessive control of the behavior of policemen from the front line and search for even minor procedural errors by their superiors”.
No clear law
There are no uniform internal rules on when the police camera is turned on and when not. And this is the case, although the police began testing the first cameras on a larger scale in 2015. And their appearance was the result of the efforts of the Chief of Police, Marek Działoszyński, who led the formation between 2012 and 2015.
In the future, the police will record interventions with the help of wearable cameras. The recordings are intended to help officers in conflicting situations when they are accused of abusing their powers
Just an instruction
In 2019, the tvn24.pl editorial team asked a question about internal regulations that would require the activation of cameras. Then we received the answer: “the cameras were first tested in three garrisons, and on the basis of the collected information, tests and recommendations, the ‘Instructions for the use of the Audio-Video Recording System (RAW), including wearable cameras used by police officers of the preventive service’ were also prepared”.
“It’s just an instruction manual, there is still no order from the chief police officer,” says our source. We renewed our questions to the press officer on August 27, then again on August 30, but no answers had come before the publication of this material.
According to our unofficial information, there is an ongoing discussion about, among other things, where officers can and cannot record interventions. – For example, in doctor’s offices you are not allowed. But will it be possible, for example, in a sobering-up center, which is a medical facility, or not? There is still no agreement with the lawyers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Administration. There are endless discussions – says an official of this ministry.
Main photo source: Police Headquarters