11 shots shot at victim
A Zurich city policeman fired eleven shots at an Ethiopian in 2015 because he approached him and his police colleagues with a meat knife. Now the official is on trial.
- In an incident in Wiedikon, an Ethiopian approached several police officers with a meat knife.
- Two police officers pulled their guns and fired a total of 13 shots,
- The Ethiopian sustained life-threatening injuries.
- The accused police officer had fired 11 shots, although he was no longer under attack.
The federal court ordered criminal proceedings – a 33-year-old Zurich city police officer is now on Wednesday before the Zurich district court. In 2015, he fired eleven shots at an Ethiopian because he approached him and his police colleagues with a meat knife.
Because he was traveling with the 25 centimeter long knife in Wiedikon, the then 42-year-old Ethiopian immediately noticed the police patrol. Together with another patrol – a total of five police officers were on site – the man should be stopped and checked. But the situation escalated.
The Ethiopian attacked one of the police officers and called “kill me, kill me”. Two of the police officers pulled their guns and fired a total of 13 shots, with the victim being hit by six bullets. The man suffered life-threatening injuries.
Prosecutor demands acquittal
The police initially had no fear of criminal proceedings: the public prosecutor stopped the proceedings. The man shot, however, appealed to the Federal Supreme Court and was right. The federal court ruled that the police officer who shot eleven times should still be investigated. It was not clear whether this policeman’s use of weapons was lawful.
The prosecutor then reopened the case and now brings the police officer to the district court. According to the indictment, the 33-year-old shot, although he was no longer attacked. However, the prosecutor demands – not as usual – a conviction, but a complete acquittal.
In terms of content, the prosecutor sticks to his stance that the use of weapons was lawful and that the police officer had not made himself punishable. The 33-year-old continues to work for the Zurich city police.
Criminal proceedings were also opened against the Ethiopian after the incident. The district court cleared him in December 2016 of the charge of attempted serious bodily harm.
The man suffers from schizophrenic psychosis and was incapacitated at the time of the crime. The district court ordered – as the prosecutor requested – outpatient therapy.