A 29-year-old resident of Wrocław died a few hours after the police intervened in his apartment. “Gazeta Wyborcza” has found a recording of the police intervention. You can hear a man calling for help, but also orders to put down the knife. At the end of the recording, the sentence is: “I’m suffocating”.
At the turn of July and August, 29-year-old Łukasz experienced a relapse of the state of depression. He locked himself in his apartment at Słonimskiego Street. He did not let his relatives in, and he did not go out himself. As the family reports, such situations have happened before. However, the man’s condition was to worsen after the death of his beloved dog.
On the night of August 1-2, Łukasz sent unsettling SMS messages to his family. The father was worried that his son might commit suicide. He called the police. He himself, together with his daughter – Łukasz’s sister – also went to Słonimski. The intervention was dramatic. From the family report, we found out that six policemen used gas, telescopic batons and restraining holds on Łukasz when they forcibly entered the apartment. The 29-year-old, pacified, was taken to hospital. There he died after a few hours.
“Gazeta Wyborcza-Wrocław” got to the recording from that night. In the audio recording – from the corridor on the fourth floor of the building – you can hear the screams of the 29-year-old, intertwined with the voices of other people. There is reverb, not everything can be heard clearly.
The five-minute recording is – as described by “Gazeta Wyborcza-Wrocław” – the final phase of the intervention. You can hear screams, curses and a man calling for help. “Put the knife down”, a male voice is heard. You can also hear the sound of breaking glass and the screams of officers.
From time to time, clearer sentences or single words like “Help!” Come to the fore. In the background, you can hear the 29-year-old’s moans and screams almost all the time, policemen shouting and unidentified crackling sounds.
The grunts and groans increase. A male voice is heard: “Not by the neck.” In the meantime, further pleas for help from the 29-year-old appear. Later, the sentence is “suffocating”. After a while – as Gazeta Wyborcza points out – the man’s father shouts: “Don’t hit him, f ***, don’t hit him!” The recording of the police intervention also includes the sentence: “This man is a threat to people”.
Prosecutor’s office: cause of death unknown, further investigations are required
The investigation into the manslaughter was initiated by the Wrocław Psie Pole District Prosecutor’s Office. However, the autopsy of the man did not reveal the cause of death.
– During the autopsy, there was a need to collect tissues for further toxicological and histopathological tests, and therefore further activities in this area are underway. Until today (September 9 – editorial note) we have not received the final report on the autopsy and determination of the cause of death of this man, and the preliminary activities carried out by experts also did not provide us with information about the cause of the man’s death – says Radosław Żarkowski, spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office Okręgowa in Wrocław.
The prosecutor did not want to comment on the recording published by “Gazeta Wyborcza”. As she emphasizes, it only refers to the materials of the prosecutor’s office, which are currently under investigation secret.
Intervention of the Ombudsman
The case of Łukasz’s death was taken ex officio by the Ombudsman. The Regional Representative of the Ombudsman in Wrocław asked the chief inspector. Dariusz Wesołowski, the provincial commander of the police in Wrocław, for information on explanatory activities.
“The point is especially whether the officers acted in accordance with the rules of applying direct coercion measures. The Commissioner for Human Rights also wants to know whether the officers’ personal webcams were active during the intervention – and if not, whether this issue is also subject to the investigation” – we read on the Defender’s website .
On Monday it took place press conference attended by the representatives of the family and the sister of the deceased 29-year-old. The woman reported on the course of the action she witnessed.
– The fire brigade, police, ambulance arrived. As for a typical call – said Wiktoria Łągiewka, sister of the deceased Łukasz. – That night I heard that this action was standard. It wasn’t a standard action. If this is what every action looks like, I don’t see a future for this country. They just murdered my brother in front of my father, she said.
Łągiewka noted that there were firefighters and policemen present, but in her opinion no one tried to get in touch with her brother. Łukasz did not recognize her or her father. He did not open the door, he was not aware of what was happening – she said.
The Wrocław police issued a statement on this matter. The spokesman of the unit, Łukasz Dutkowiak, informed that due to the fact that the man “locked himself in the apartment and did not want to open the door, and his safety was at risk, because he was strongly aroused, a decision was made to enter by force”.
According to the police, the 29-year-old was said to be aggressive and brandishing a knife. Łukasz Dutkowiak – a spokesman for the Wrocław police – said that after a few hours the police received information that the man had died in the hospital. He added that the police wanted a thorough explanation of the circumstances of this case. The recordings from the wearable camera, which one of the officers had, are to help in this. The video from the camera – as emphasized by the police – was secured and handed over to the prosecutor’s office. There was also a recording of a telephone conversation with the notification from the man’s father.
Three deaths of young men in just over a week
Investigators are also investigating two other cases related to officers of the Lower Silesian police and the deaths of young men. It’s about death A 25-year-old citizen of Ukraine, which took place in the Wrocław center of sobering-up and death 34-year-old resident of Lubin.
– All these matters are thoroughly investigated – emphasized Mariusz Kamiński, head of the Ministry of the Interior and Administration. And he added: – I do not want to pass premature judgments. If there were any violations of the law by the officers, all the consequences will be drawn, but please be patient. We cannot prejudge the guilt of the officers – emphasized the head of the Ministry of Interior and Administration. – There will be no protection for those who break the law, but we have to wait for the results of the prosecutor’s office’s findings, for internal proceedings that are fairly conducted – he added.
Gazeta Wyborcza Wrocław, TVN24 Wrocław
Main photo source: TVN24