only one agent tries to stop the blows –

SANTA MARIA CAPUA VETERE (CASERTA) Like in a film where the scary scene must arrive suddenly, even the recorded imagesfrom the video surveillance system of the prison of Santa Maria Capua Vetere they seem to have a plot and crescendo as meticulously prepared as a script is prepared. The videos of the search of 6 April 2020 in the Nile ward of the Caserta prison, at the beginning tell of a calm atmosphere. The inmates are standing outside the cells, talking to each other, some even joking. Cops come and go. The careful control of the rooms, from one the bed is pulled out. The prisoner who occupies the cell collaborates, disassembles the net, separates the feet from the rest of the structure and one piece at a time brings everything out. Where everything goes back. You can see him well as he looks around and he doesn’t even know what to do with that bed in the middle of the corridor. And also in the social room, the one where there are foosball and ping pong tables and where then horrible things will happen, the atmosphere at first is quiet.

The inmates sit on the chairs next to the wall, they look like they’re waiting, they seem to be there waiting for the search to end. Then the door at the back opens, a couple of officers from Santa Maria enter and four or five of those from the reinforcement group, those in riot gear, with helmets, shields and batons. The inmates immediately understand what is about to happen: they get up and seek shelter by moving back to the opposite side of the room. It is useless. Indeed, in that corner where they have slipped they remain imprisoned. The agents catch up to them, and the ones with the batons start beating. A recluse tries to rebel, not to react: only to rebel. And he pays it bitterly. a fury that only a prison policeman seems to oppose. Several times he stands between his colleagues and inmates, several times he stops the arm of whoever is knocking down yet another blow. Another video, again the social room. Three inmates standing in the center, with their hands raised. To get out, they have to pass through a group of officers standing in front of the door. They try, but before they get to the hall, everyone can’t avoid punching, slapping and kicking.

This time the most violent is an agent inside the prison. Violent but also ridiculous. short, he has no truncheon, he hits with his bare hands. The cameras film him as he goes wild on the first of the three inmates that happens in front of him, a big big man with whom that agent would hardly have measured himself in the street or in any other place outside the prison. Here, however, he hits him several times, but struggles to get to the face and has to be content with slapping the trunk, especially the hips and back. Change of shot: an inmate faints, two officers pass and go straight on, another comes and kicks him. Then two doctors arrive, help him recover, put him on a chair. The agents come back, but they don’t beat him anymore. But it is an isolated case, because the videos, by now clear, report almost only beatings. In the social room, in the corridors, on the stairs. The Public Prosecutor of Santa Maria Capua Vetere has opened an investigation file for the first videos published on the Net, which according to the investigators should have remained confidential.

The acknowledgments of the investigated agentsall or almost all occurred through the recorded images. But one of the policemen who ended up under arrest certainly blessed those images, because thanks to the videos he managed to convince the investigating judge that he was not the one taken by the cameras. And this earned him his release. The others are hoping for a review, which will start tomorrow and continue until next week. The positions to be examined are many because the suspended policemen have also resorted to. Their unions, meanwhile, met yesterday the Minister of Justice Cartabia to talk about how to reorganize the work of prison officers.

July 7, 2021 (change July 8, 2021 | 00:02)



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