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Hands off the police says Salvini amid Pisa baton charge row

Hands off the police says Salvini amid Pisa baton charge row

League chief defends cops after Mattarella chided them

ROME, 25 February 2024, 11:33

ANSA English Desk




League leader Matteo Salvini said "hands off the police" Sunday amid a row over allegedly heavy handed policing of a pro-Palestinian demonstration in Pisa and after President Sergio Mattarella stepped into the case to chide the alleged over use of truncheons.
    'It is right to make analyses to see if (the police) did what they had to do," said Salvini, "or if someone went too far, but they are women and men, not robots, and they should not be drawn into a political row." The centre-left opposition has condemned the baton charges to beta back protesters from reaching the US consulate int the Tuscan city after video footage emerged showing some officers repeatedly hitting pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the head.
    Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi told Sunday's edition of the Corriere della Sera newspaper that the rules on the management of public order have not changed, and he will not shy away from an assessment of what happened.
    And to those who ask him to report to parliament, he said he is "available, but no to discussions to discredit the government or the police force." Mattarella said Saturday that the authoritativeness of the State cannot be measures by batons, after speaking with Piantedosi on the events in Pisa.
    "The President of the Republic reminded the Interior Minister, finding his agreement (on the subject), that the authoritativeness of the police forces cannot be measured by batons but by the capacity to ensure security while safeguarding, at the same time, the freedom to publicly express opinions," said a note from the presidential Quirinale Palace.
    "Truncheons express failure with young people".
    Asked to respond on Sunday, Salvini, who is also deputy premier and transport minister, said: "The president's words can be read but not commented on".
    Then, pressed, he added: "Of course it is always better that there are no clashes.
    "Policemen and Carabinieri are daily victims of physical and verbal violence.
    "Even in that square. If my son went and shouted 'cop asshole' then he would have to deal with me.
    Salvini said "anyone who puts his hands on a policeman or a Carabiniere is a delinquent"..


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