A total of 16 protesters received police pepper because they refused to stop traffic on Kaisaniemenkatu in Helsinki.
“The protesters sitting on the street did not pose an immediate danger and therefore the use of such force was impossible. That is why I deny that the police exceeded their powers, Rappe comments To Helsingin Sanomat.
He declined to comment further on the accused, but confirmed publicly circulating information that three of the accused were police officers spreading pepper spray on protesters. He also stressed that it was critical, albeit cumbersome, to determine the responsibility of officers at all levels – from general commander to field officers – for suspected breaches of duty.
“From the point of view of official abuse, this is a matter of some level of organization believing that protest needs to be addressed, and another level of implementing such an order,” he said. clarified To YLE.
Lasse AapioThe police chief of the Helsinki Police Department told Helsingin Sanomat that it took “unreasonably long” to prosecute the officials. He recalled that in such circumstances, demonstrators should take into account the risks associated with the social situation, not just the actions of individuals.
“I would like to point out that if people change places frequently, the police need to weigh whether their future activities are predictable. It shall be taken into account in addition to the disturbance caused. “
Extinction Rebellion Finland staged a demonstration in Helsinki on 3 October 2020 to draw attention to the threat of a climate emergency and to persuade the government to take sensible action to mitigate its effects. The video shared by the organizer shows how police are spreading pepper spray against a group of protesters in the middle of Kaisaniemenkatu.
Protesters had moved there after blocking traffic on a nearby street in response to police arresting them.
Rappe reminded YLE that the disruption caused by the protest, for example, must be disproportionate to the traffic in order for the police to be able to intervene in the protests.
“My perception is that the action was so short-lived that the requirement of unreasonableness was not met. That’s a matter that will eventually come to the court’s assessment, he commented. “The rule of law must be tolerated [protesters] closed a couple of lanes on Kaisaniemenkatu. “
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Source: The Nordic Page