Police Chief Stood Up Again for Police in Their Interventions in Protests

Police Corps President Peter Kovarik (stock photo by TASR)

Bratislava, August 11 (TASR) – Police Corps President Peter Kovarik has once again defended police officers and their interventions in protests in front of the parliament building and in front of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, TASR learnt on Wednesday.

According to Kovarik, the situation at the protest in front of the parliament building at the end of July was calm until one MP wanted to take the protesters inside. “We reacted very quickly to the change in the situation, we strengthened our resources and we calmly pushed the protesters away from the parliament building so as not to create unnecessary tension,” he said.

According to Kovarik, the Regional Directorate of the Police Corps in Bratislava is not responsible for the parliament building, as it is a special building. “Since 2012, we’ve been warning Parliament that it should consider building barriers that could be used at some point to create a space 50 metres from the parliament building where we are able to ensure safety in cooperation with units that are responsible for that,” said the police chief.

Kovarik also claims that the police were ready for the protest in front of the Presidential Palace in Bratislava, which took place at the end of July. According to him, the situation was complicated by a trolleybus, which got stuck in the underpass and could not be manipulated. Police are investigating why the crowd has radicalised and gone out into the streets. They did not intervene until after it calmed down.

Kovarik further stated that the police cannot intervene when they want to. According to him, the use of resources cannot be decided by the police president, but by the intervention commander controlling the operation. “We intervened at a time when the crowd had ceased to be aggressive, when the number of people in the crowd had been reduced,” he said, adding that they had strengthened troops and expelled protesters without violence.

The protesters criticised government measures that should favour vaccinated people. Kovarik was also criticised by some politicians for saying that demonstrations are normal and that people should get used to them.