Judicial blow to Marlaska for the “brutal persecution” of police officer Samuel Vázquez

The president of the association “A Police for the 21st Century”, Samuel Vazquez Alvarezhas been “suffering for more than a year, brutal persecution by senior political officials of the National Police and the Ministry of the Interior, having to endure the opening of six sanctioning files different in less than a year.” An unsustainable and unjustified situation that forced this national police officer to go to court alleging “the violation of both the principle of typicality and the fundamental right to freedom of opinion and expression and effective protection, as well as power diversion and lack of proportionality of the sanction imposed due to lack of motivation”.

Arguments that have been fully considered by the Central Administrative Litigation Court number 2 of the National Court in a ruling, which represents a hard blow to the appointment policy of the Government and its Minister of the Interior, Fernando Grande-Marlaska. But to understand what was established in said sentence, we must go back to February of this year, when the Secretary of State for Security imposed on Samuel Vázquez a “sanction of suspension from functions for one month for the commission of a serious offense in matters of disciplinary regime of the National Police Corps”. The reason? two tweets that the police officer, in his capacity as president of the associationhe had published on his social networks on March 28 and 30, 2023.

Some tweets in which the president of “A Police for the 21st Century” announced, on the one hand, the exercise of criminal actions against the Director General of the Police (through a complaint for workplace harassment, coercion and prevarication administrative that has been admitted for processing by the Provincial Court of Madrid) and on the other, stated that Marlaska (with the approval of the Council of Ministers) had appointed as general directors of both the National Police and the Civil Guard, people without any previous operating experience and with zero knowledge in the subjectwhose main function is to protect political speeches and power structures to the detriment of social protection.

Tweet March 28, 2023

“The DG of the Police has just signed my disciplinary file with loss of job and salary. He has touched my children’s bread, so I will not stop until I see him sitting on a bench.

This Friday I will continue fighting to end this system of farmhouses and caciques.”

Tweet March 30, 2023

“No knowledge of police science or criminology. Zero operational experience in the matter.

While they protect power structures and political discourses, neighborhoods conquer and cities surrender.

“If they wanted to protect their family, they would choose the best.”

From the Interior, the sanctioning administration considered that Both tweets represented a serious violation, typified in article 8.a of its Disciplinary Regime: “Serious disregard for superiors, colleagues, subordinates or citizens, in the exercise of their functions or when it causes notable discredit to the Police Institution.” And, at this point, he decided to impose on Samuel Vázquez suspension of duties for three months. Likewise, it annuls the contested resolution, considering it contrary to law and imposes the payment of all costs to the defendant Administration (around 4,000 euros).

This action was denounced by the agent and the National Court has agreed with him by fully upholding his claim. The High Court, in its ruling, declares “the sanction imposed is void, with all the economic and administrative effects inherent to said declaration, including the erasure of said sanction from the file” of the national police officer Samuel Vázquez.

What does the ruling against Interior say?

In its ruling, the National Court considers that the expressions expressed by the agent in his tweets are “atypical”, so they do not fit the description of the type chosen by the administration. Likewise, it establishes that the sanctioning file against Samuel Vázquez for alleged “disconsideration” to his superiors and colleagues “cannot be classified as executed in the exercise of the actor’s functions as a national police officer.” Or what is the same, that those tweets were written as president of the association “A Police for the 21st Century”, not as a Police agent. In this sense, the magistrate insists that in the sanctioning file “it does not appear what entrusted function he was physically carrying out when writing the tweets.” And that is because, in fact, he was not “in the exercise of his duties” as a national police officer.

Already in the field of “notorious discredit” to the Police Institution, the sentence makes it clear that “nothing could be further from the truth.” Thus, he assures that in the terms used by the agent there is not even the slightest bit of criticism of the National Police, but rather of certain political leaders that the plaintiff considers to be “caciques”, who feed a “system of farmhouses” and “protect power structures and political discourses. In short, he confirms that the prestige of the National Police, as an Institution (as happens with the Civil Guard) “transcends its political authorities and is not diminished (and even less so noticeably) for personal criticism of their leaders.” At this point, it presupposes a certain “arrogance” on the part of those affected, assuming that criticism of them undermines the image of the Institution.

For all this, he points out that although those affected can take legal action against the agent for criticism, “it is not acceptable to use the repressive apparatus of the State against him, through the feared right of sanction.” Thus, he remembers that Samuel Vázquez filed a complaint for “workplace harassment, coercion and administrative prevarication against his superiorsadmitted for processing by order of the Provincial Court of Madrid on May 14.” In short, the ruling estimates that beyond agreeing or not with the agent’s statements, these are framed and protected by the right to freedom of expression and opinion to criticize authorities and public officials.