A court in Barcelona has fined a Mosso d'Esquadra (Catalan police officer) 450 euros for slapping a detainee, who put up a fight whilst being searched at a police station in Les Corts (Barcelona).
The incident occurred at dawn on April 5th 2007, when the agent, Tania R. struck out at Elena P., of Russian nationality for her "defiant attitude". The detainee, who had been arrested by two mossos at the door of her house, where she was creating a disturbance after realising she'd forgotten her keys, was sentenced to one year in prison for assaulting an officer.
The detainee, Elena P., was allegedly "very upset" and kicked and screamed at officers, before biting the one who had tried to help her open her front door. The officers then arrested and handcuffed her and took her into custody, where she "persisted with her aggressive attitude" against doctors and the mossos.
At the police station in Les Corts, the officer in charge ordered an immediate search of the detainee, which was carried out by the only two female officers on duty at the time, Tania R. and Susana C. She violently resisted all attempts by the officers to carry out their search, and during the ensuing physical struggle Tania R. gave her a slap across the face in the presence of the other agent, who said in court she "could not foresee the sudden action of her partner or do anything about it,".
After the slap, another struggle ensued and a third officer had to be called to help immobilise the detainee and lock her in a cell, where she continued to scream and bang on the door until she was given a sedative by a doctor at 9.30am.
Elena P. was released at 13.55 that same day, and her lawyer lodged a complaint after a doctor confirmed the presence of several bruises and diagnosed her with "post-traumatic stress disorder."
The judge decided that Tania R. had "overstepped the mark" by slapping the prisoner, but recognise that the excessive use of force was due to the lack of collaboration by the victim who remained defiant throughout.