The State Prosecutor has filed charges against an officer of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police for assault and violating the police’s regulations because of a brutal arrest of a woman in central Reykjavík in early July.
The photo is not directly related to the story. Copyright: Icelandic Photo Agency.
Residents on Laugavegur filmed the arrest and the footage went viral. Snorri Magnússon, chair of the Police Federation of Iceland, told visir.is that he believes the charge is a result of the online coverage.
Snorri maintains that there was nothing unnatural about the arrest. “Arrests never look good, regardless from what angle you’re watching. This one appears to be particularly brutal because of the bench the woman is knocked against. It’s unfortunate that this happened. But the arrest method … is absolutely by the book.”
Snorri said he is surprised by the charge, which indicates that the arrest was made without warning and for no reason, he said. “The police officer in question was spat on,” Snorri pointed out.
“It’s difficult to be responsible for arresting people who have violated the law if the consequences are to be determined by the media, not to mention some Facebook conversation,” Snorri concluded.
The arrest garnered significant attention this summer. The police officer who made the arrest was relieved from duty while the case was being investigated.
The case was later filed to the State Prosecutor and the Alþingi Ombudsman also requested information about it, visir.is reports.
The woman’s lawyer has not been willing to comment on the case and neither has Chief of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police Stefán Eiríksson.