THE Barcelona Council has begun proceedings against a sergeant from the Guardia Urbana (the municipal police force of Barcelona) for allegedly wearing a wristband decorated with the colours of the Spanish flag while he was in uniform and on duty.
The incident in question allegedly took place on May 28. A march had been organised by members and sympathisers of the Hermandad de Antiguos Caballeros Legionarios (a Spanish military association) as a means to protest against the mayor, Ada Colau. Thousands of people participated in the march, many of them carrying Spanish flags, to express their dissatisfaction wtih the municipal decision to remove the Hermandad de los Caballeros Legionarios of Barcelona from a plot of land which they have occupied for many years in the city’s Sant Andreu neighbourhood.
According to reports, the officer in question was part of a police presence which had been set up around the area of the Plaza Urquinaona. On his right forearm he was allegedly wearing a large wristband adorned with the colours of the Spanish flag.
The council considers the sergeant’s alleged behaviour to be in direct violation of article 10 of the law of the Local Police of Cataluña, and has argued that the officer’s behaviour has caused “damage to the image of the body of the Guardia Urbana of Barcelona, which should act with complete neutrality and impartiality.”
Reports have also indicated that the officer allegedly disobeyed the direct order of a superior, who observed him wearing the wristband and told him to remove it as it was an external element of his uniform, and therefore forbidden.
If convicted, the officer could be suspended from duty for anywhere between 15 days and one year, and would lose his salary during the given period of time.