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Numerous complaints about police activities in the Black Lives Matter demonstration

Parliamentary Ombudsman Petri Jääskeläinen has begun investigating 16 complaints concerning the actions of the Helsinki Police Department during the Black Lives Matter demonstration held at the Senate Square on 3 June 2020. He is also investigating three anonymous reports concerning the same event that were submitted to the police administration’s internal ethical channel.

Firstly, the complainants criticised that uniformed police officers, whose specific duty was to supervise the demonstration in question, participated in the demonstration by holding a demonstration sign and also expressed their support for the demonstration in interviews given at the event. This has been criticised particularly from the perspective of the impartiality required of the police. Secondly, the police have been criticised for allowing a gathering of more than 3,000 people in violation of the meeting restrictions imposed by the Regional State Administrative Agency.

The Ombudsman has requested a report on the matter and a statement from the Ministry of the Interior by 30 October 2020. The Ombudman´s request in case 4428/2020 (in Finnish).

Further information on the matter is available from Principal Legal Adviser Juha Haapamäki, tel. +358 9 432 3334