Prosecutor’s office to check whether police had right to shoot 17-year-old driver

Дата: 08 February 2016
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The prosecutor’s office will check within criminal proceedings whether the police had the right to use firearms against a 17-year-old driver of BMW in Kyiv.

Overnight into February 7, the police opened fire when following a BMW, which grossly violated the traffic rules. The driver of the car died as a result of the incident, UNIAN news agency reports.

The prosecutor’s office initiated the criminal proceedings under Article 365 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (abuse of power or authority). The office promises to give an impartial assessment of the actions of the law enforcement officers. The prosecutors say they have already examined the scene, removed the video recordings and questioned the police officers and witnesses.

Meanwhile, the Holosiyivsky district police department is investigating the criminal proceedings over “bodily injury” inflicted to a police officer during these events.

The senior officials have already commented on the incident. In particular, Head of the Kyiv Patrol Police Yuri Zozulia said that the officers acted according to the law and performed their duty.

“During the movement, the car did not react to the warnings and instructions of the patrol to stop or get out of the car. The driver blatantly violated the traffic rules, endangering other citizens, and was moving along the oncoming lane,” he said.

Advisor to the Interior Minister of Ukraine Anton Herashchenko confirmed that the patrol policemen did their duty and used weapons forcedly.

After a half-hour chase along the night Kyiv, repeated warnings through loudspeakers demanding to stop immediately and warning shots into the air, the patrol policemen in accordance with the law of Ukraine on the national police used service weapon to stop the insane who threatened others traffic participants and the patrol officers,” he wrote.

The human rights activists insist on the importance of impartial investigation in this case, namely whether the use of weapons was a necessity.

In particular, expert on international criminal law Mykola Hnatovsky said: “When the lawyers comment on the incident of killing of a passenger of the car pursued by police, they first have to make sure they understand the principles of necessity and proportionality in the usage of lethal force by the state.”

Executive Director of Amnesty International in Ukraine Tetiana Mazur added: “The assessment of the necessity and proportionality and the situation in general should be carried out not in social networks but by the independent and professional arbitrator. We view the State Bureau of Investigation as such in the future. Since it has not been established yet, the prosecutors will assess the actions of the police… It is not worth commenting as everybody is well aware of the fact that is difficult to describe this body as the independent or professional arbitrator in most cases.”

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