"Leave LGBTQ+ people alone". Teenager handcuffed for writing with chalk on the pavement
A 17-year-old girl wrote words of support for the LGBTQ+ community and critical of the Church. She did that on the pavement in front of a church in Toruń, using a yellow chalk. Shortly after a police patrol arrived and handcuffed the girl. The incident has been captured in a camera recording. A left-wing MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus demanded explanations from the police.
The 17-year-old activist from Bydgoszcz was arrested on September 17 in front of a church in Toruń's Old Town.
The teenager - Malwina Chmara - explained that upon her visit to the city, she had seen a gathering of people on the market square holding banners insulting LGBTQ+ people. "They likened such persons to paedophiles," she said.
The girl decided to express her protest against such hurtful rhetoric and wrote "Leave LGBTQ+ people alone" with yellow chalk on the pavement. She admitted she had also written down names of priests accused of paedophilia.
"Officers handcuffed me and dragged me to the car"
According to the girl, police officers showed up all of a sudden. "The police asked me for ID and then went into the church to confer with the priests. I waited for half an hour before the police decided to detain me in relation to this case," she said.
The footage from the incident shows that - at one point - as many as five officers were standing over the teenager sitting on the pavement.
"I wasn't aggressive, I wasn't trying to escape the police, and the officers handcuffed me and dragged me to the car. I remained handcuffed for the whole duration of the arrest," the 17-year-old said.
At the police station, she was charged with violating Article 63 of Polish Code of Petty Offences, which prohibits "the placement of advertisements, posters, leaflets, inscriptions, or drawings in a public place without the consent of the administrator of said place". The girl is facing a fine.
MP enquiry and questions to the police
The police intervention outraged, among other people, a left-wing MP Joanna Scheuring-Wielgus, who last week decided to intervene at the Chief of Toruń Police.
"I've asked him a few questions. Commissioner, do Toruń police officers protect the citizens, or the Church? Should Toruń police officers consult the parish priest, or maybe they should focus on the safety of the citizens? Didn't the officers from Toruń violate Malwina's personal dignity by handcuffing her?" - the MP said.
"Toruń Police spokesperson has kept his lips sealed and refused to comment in front of the camera. He only stated in a phone conversation that the police was examining all circumstances of this intervention," TVN24 reporter Mariusz Sidorkiewicz informed.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, TVN24 Pomorze
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