Policeman fined after video catches head kicks
A Lucerne policeman caught by a security camera last year repeatedly kicking an alleged burglar in the head during a robbery investigation at a watch shop was fined on Monday for assault and abuse of authority.
The prosecutor’s office fined the officer 1,000 francs ($1,137), ordered him to pay legal costs of 800 francs and issued a suspended penalty equivalent to a 12,600-franc fine, the SDA news agency reported.
The case, dating back to June 3rd 2013, caused a national uproar when the image picked up by a video surveillance camera was later aired on Swiss national TV (SRF).
The camera showed the officer kicking a Romanian man five times in the head as he was lying down on the ground.
The victim was one of two men caught in the process of trying to rob the watch shop on the Löwenplatz in Lucerne’s city centre.
He suffered bruises and abrasions to the head.
Last August, Lucerne police chief Beat Hensler said the attack was an exceptional case that would not be repeated.
However, Jürg Solberger, a former cantonal judge from Bern, was appointed to investigate 22 cases of alleged brutality by Lucerne cantonal police officers.
In an interim report last year, Solberger said a third of the cases were serious.
The former judge said the behaviour shown by the officer on the video was “not acceptable”.
Hensler resigned from his post in December 2013.
SDA reported that he was the subject of an investigation by the prosecutor’s officer for violating confidentiality rules by allowing the watch shop video to be made public.
The probe was filed after the prosecutor concluded the police chief was unaware that showing the video constituted an offence, the news agency said.
Below is the video shown by SRF: