The Basque regional interior chief, Rodolfo Ares, has admitted that the Ertzaintza may have acted negligently in the death of Iñigo Cabacas after an autopsy confirmed that the 28-year-old was killed by a rubber bullet during disturbances following a Europa League match between Athletic and Schalke 04 in Bilbao.
“The autopsy shows that a rubber bullet was the cause. Therefore we now have to establish whether or not protocols were adhered to,” Ares said at a press conference Wednesday. He is due to appear before the regional assembly on Thursday as political parties in the region demand responsibility be taken for the incident.
Ares said that police protocol dictates that blank shots should be fired before rounds are utilized and then warning shots should be fired in the air, “never at the head.”
Cabacas died of his wounds in a Bilbao hospital on Monday, leading to street protests against the regional police force’s handling of the clashes following the game.
“It is unacceptable that something like this should happen in a democracy in 2012. It is essential to establish what happened and assume the consequences,” said the regional PP leader Antonio Basagoiti.