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Catalan cops face court over rubber bullet injury

Twenty-two Catalan cops will appear before a Barcelona court after a man who was shot by a rubber bullet fired by one of the officers had to have his spleen removed.

Catalan cops face court over rubber bullet injury
An internet campaign called Ojo con tu ojo (Watch out for your eye) was launched recently to publicly denounce the use of rubber bullets by Barcelona police. Photo: Jose Lago/AFP

A Barcelona judge has ordered the 22 anti-riot police officers to appear before the magistrates court on May 23rd and 24th to ascertain which of them fired the harmful rubber bullet that injured a passer-by during a general strike protest in the Catalan capital on March 29th.

The court will use the evidence provided by the man’s medical report to prove that it was indeed the shot fired that caused irreparable damage to his spleen.

A number of other similar cases are currently being investigated, notably that of Esther Quintana, the 40-year old woman who lost an eye after a rubber bullet was fired at her during street demonstrations in Barcelona on November 14th of last year.

An internet campaign called Ojo con tu ojo (Watch out for your eye) was launched recently to publicly denounce the trigger-happy use of rubber bullets by Barcelona’s Mossos d’Esquadra police force.

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POLICE

Spain’s Civil Guard police officers allowed to have visible tattoos

Spain on Monday relaxed its policy banning officers from the country's oldest police force, the Guardia Civil, from exhibiting tattoos.

civil guard spain gun
The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use. Photo: Rafa Rivas/AFP

Officers will now be allowed to display tattoos anywhere on their bodies “as long as they do not contain expressions that violate constitutional values or harm the discipline or image of the force,” the interior minister said in a statement.

“For the first time visible tattoos will be allowed on uniformed officers,” it added.

On the other hand, the decree prohibits hoop earrings, spikes, plugs and other inserts when they are visible in uniform, “except regular earrings, for both male and female personnel”.

The Guardia Civil mainly patrols and investigates crimes in rural areas, while Spain’s National Police focuses on urban areas.

Last year Spain’s leftist government appointed a woman to head the force for the first time in its 177-year history.

The increasing popularity of tattoos has led police forces around the world to regulate their use.

Los Angeles police are required to ensure that tattoos are not visible to the public while on-duty, while France’s Gendarmes police force also requires that they be covered.

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