Three arrested over police smoking row

THREE people were arrested in Velez-Malaga for allegedly assaulting two local police officers after refusing to stop smoking inside a bar. The incident occurred on Friday night when local police entered the establishment for coffee and saw them smoking, according to the police’s version of events.

Initially they requested that they put out their cigarettes or go outside with them.

One of the smokers apparently said: “Go look for drugs, we are just drinking coffee and smoking a cigarette; I smoke here because I feel like it.”

In response to this attitude the officers requested his identification, which was allegedly refused; so he was taken outside the establishment.

Once on the street officers say they asked the man again, again he refused; so officers attempted to take him into custody.

According to the officer’s story, one of his companions attempted to stop the officer and a scuffle ensued with the third friend joining in, which resulted in the officer “receiving many punches.”

Two police patrols arrived on the scene, following a call from a customer, and arrested the three individuals.

One of the police officers was taken to Axarquia Hospital with a damaged rib and the other officer had a broken nose.

One of the detainees was also hospitalized.

The owner of the establishment and sister-in-law of one of the detainees claimed that “there was abuse of authority by the officers, because nobody was smoking; which we can prove with security cameras.”

The incident is being investigated by the National Police.

By Nicole Hallett

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Euro Weekly News Media

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