Conviction overturned for Marbella policeman who shot a reckless driver

Conviction overturned for Marbella policeman who shot a reckless driver

Following an appeal, a court ruled that the officer acted in a proportionate manner given the alert for terrorist attacks at the time and the conduct of the injured person

Irene Quirante


Wednesday, 10 January 2024, 17:26

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The High Court of Justice of Andalucía (TSJA) has overturned a sentence against a Marbella local policeman who had been given five months in prison after shooting a reckless driver. The incident happened in June 2017 and, according to the court, the security forces and bodies were on alert at that time due to the risk of terrorist attacks. The court ruled that the officer's action was not disproportionate to the conduct of the driver, who was injured.

The incident happened on 11 June, at around 5.30am. The uniformed officer saw a vehicle approaching at high speed which skidded. The officer approached the car to stop the driver, who "braked very sharply until he stopped", leaving the car at an angle and partly on a pedestrian crossing.

As stated in the TSJA ruling, the officer urged the man to put his hands on the roof of the car, but the driver ignored the instruction and put his hand down on the handbrake. It was then that, "due to unclear circumstances" and unintentionally, according to the ruling, the policeman fired his gun, which was not fitted with a safety device. The bullet went through the car door and hit the injured party, who drove away at high speed.

Contrary to what was previously considered by the Provincial Court of Malaga, the Andalusian High Court noted that the security forces and bodies "were on alert at that time due to the risk of terrorist attacks" and pointed out that in different countries there had been attacks "using motor vehicles".

The TSJA found that the police officer "acted in a proportionate manner" when he drew his weapon in front of the car that arrived at the scene in a "not at all reassuring" manner. Consequently, the judges upheld the appeal lodged by the accused, which was supported by the Public Prosecutor's Office.

The TSJA therefore accepted the defence's argument that, taking into account the circumstances of the incident and the time in which it took place, his client "acted in a proportionate manner by showing his regulation weapon as a dissuasive protection to protect passers-by and guarantee his own safety, and the fact that it went off during the sequence of events is not reproachable either".

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