Police union slams president's visit to site of clash with residents

By TPN/Lusa, in News · 06-02-2019 06:54:00 · 0 Comments
Police union slams president's visit to site of clash with residents

The head of the main trade union representing members of Portugal's urban police force, the PSP, has criticised a visit made by Portugal's president, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, to the neighbourhood known as Jamaica, in Seixal, Setúbal district, where a violent incident between residents and police took place two weeks ago, saying that the head of state had showed "complete disregard" for police.

In a message posted on his personal Facebook page on Monday night, Paulo Rodrigues, the president of the ASPP union, said that he felt “discriminated” against, accusing de Sousa of “complete disregard” for the PSP.

He also said that he had repeatedly requested meetings with the president but this was “never accepted.”

Rodrigues said that he had “nothing against the visit” but stressed that the head of state “should not belittle those who provide security in the country.”

In Rodrigues’s view, de Sousa had shown himself to be “President of the Republic of almost all Portuguese" citizens, rather than of all, as he should be.

“I do not know why" de Sousa visited Jamaica, Rodrigues said. "If the idea was to see rundown buildings, he could have gone to Calçada da Ajuda in Lisbon or Bela Vista in Porto, which in matters of shameful facilities, beat Jamaica.”

De Sousa on Monday visited the neighbourhood without prior warning, and accepted an invitation to attend the next party organised by the residents’ association. He met leaders of the residents’ association and visited the community centre, meeting people of different ages.

The visit took place two weeks after incidents involving the police in the neighbourhood that prompted the opening of an investigation by public prosecutors.

The PSP has also opened an internal inquiry into the “police intervention, and all the circumstances surrounding it” on 20 January in Jamaica.

The case became public after a video was posted on social media, prompting a protest against police violence the next day in Lisbon, in front of the Ministry of Internal Administration. Later there were clashes on the city’s main downtown axis, the Avenida da Liberdade, between protestors and police, with four people being detained after stones were thrown, according to police.

The Jamaica neighbourhood started to take shape in 1990s and its unfinished buildings have never offered decent living conditions.


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