Policeman arrested for shooting civilian

Policeman arrested for shooting civilian

İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
Policeman arrested for shooting civilian

Emrah Barlak’s funeral, who was shot by a policeman in an argument over a traffic accident in İzmir, was held yesterday. AA photo

A policeman who shot a man to death in the midst of an argument over a traffic accident in İzmir Aug. 13 was placed under arrest Aug. 14, as other police officers who had been at the scene were dismissed from their posts.

İzmir Governor Cahit Kıraç met with the family of Emrah Barlak, the man shot by the police officer. “No exceptions will be made in the suspect’s judicial process because he is a police officer,” Kıraç said.

Barlak, 26, was killed and three others were wounded when a policeman fired his gun in a scuffle between officers and three men whose car crashed into a patrol vehicle. Barlak’s 17-year-old brother, E.B., was driving when the car struck a police vehicle parked on the street. A melee broke out when the driver and his two passengers objected to a police officer’s filing a report about the crash and because E.B. was driving without a license.

Police fired into the air after using pepper gas to disperse the angry men. A police officer whose identity has not been released fired his gun again when one of the men attacked another officer with a chair. A passerby, Halil Altun, was slightly injured by a ricocheting bullet.

“The police officer fired in order to protect himself when he could not stop the assailants despite all warnings, an official said,” according to a report about the incident. The incident came to public attention when a citizen recorded the police violence using a cell phone and posted the video on the Internet. In the video the police officer is seen firing his gun as Barlak attacks him with a chair. The video of the incident drew huge public outcry. Eight bullets were fired during the incident, Barlak’s father, Nusrettin Barlak, said, adding that he questions the authority of the police to use firearms in such cases. The family intends to pursue the case in court, he said.

Barlak was laid to rest in an İzmir cemetery yesterday. Kıraç and İzmir’s chief of police attended the funeral.

Claims of more police violence

In another incident, a cigarette smuggler was allegedly shot in the head by a special operations police officer in the Doğubeyazıt district of the eastern province of Ağrı Aug. 14, causing the man to lose his left eye. The shooting victim, Mehmet Duman, 31, was hospitalized after the incident. The Human Rights Foundation (İHD) issued a press release saying eyewitness testimonies verify that the policeman shot Duman in the head without provocation. Meanwhile, Ali Akın, who had been detained and accused of stabbing his neighbor in Istanbul’s Büyükçekmece district shot himself in the head in the police station after taking a police officer’s gun. Akın died in the hospital. Akın had been treated for depression and had a criminal record. An investigation has been initiated, a police source told Doğan news agency.