Wednesday 9/23/20

Police officer convicted of serious assault on detainee in Lahti

The policeman punched the victim repeatedly and broke his nose, before pressing his back with knees. The detainee had to be resuscitated.
Image: screenshot of the video showing the incident inside Lahti police station.
Image: screenshot of the video showing the incident inside Lahti police station.

A police officer has been sentenced to a suspended prison term of 16 months for aggravated assault and breach of duty.

The sentence has been imposed by the district court of the Päijät-Häme region after ruling that the senior police officer exerted disproportionately excessive and unnecessary force on a detained man, who was also handcuffed.

The events occurred in February 2019, when several policemen transferred an intoxicated man who had been arrested in a restaurant to the cells of the Lahti police station.

Once inside the cell, and faced with the resistance raised by the detainee, one of the agents punched the victim repeatedly while he was being held by other policemen. The events were recorded by the police station's security cameras and the video was shown at the trial.


For an expanded version of the video, click HERE

Pressing with knees

The court also considers it proven that the policeman mounted on the back of the detainee, pressing with his knees, which obstructed breathing, so that he lost consciousness and he later needed to be resuscitated.

The verdict also orders the Police and the state to compensate the victim with 3,000 euros. The sentence is not final, therefore it can be appealed.

In addition to the convicted policeman, two guards from the same police station were tried on charges of aggravated assault, but the court dismissed the charges on the grounds that their reaction was not excessive and did not cause the detainee to be unable to breathe.

During the trial, the three accused men denied the charges.