Videos capture violent arrest that ended in death of suspect

Residents recorded Catalan police force attempting to subdue 50-year-old businessman

Two videos reveal blows dealt to suspect by Mossos d'Esquadra.

Two videos recorded by residents of Barcelona’s Raval neighborhood show the Mossos d’Esquadra beating Juan Andrés Benítez, a 50-year-old businessman from the city’s gay-friendly “Gayxample” district, who died on October 6 after being subdued by members of the Catalan police force. The images, which are now in the possession of the judge investigating the case, support the account that two witnesses and one official suspect have already given in court: that up to four officers punched, kneed and kicked Benítez when he was already on the ground with the police on top of him, screaming in pain.

According to witnesses and police reports, on the night of October 5, Benítez assaulted a Moroccan woman who was waiting in a car by the door of his house and afterwards fought with her husband, who had come to her aid. The autopsy revealed that Benítez died as a consequence of multiple blows to the head, but failed to clarify if he received the lethal blows during the fight, whether he inflicted them upon himself as the Mossos subdued him — the police’s version of events — or whether the officers inflicted them on him.

The first video, lasting just over two-and-a-half minutes, shows Benítez already on the floor with four policemen on top of him. He at first seems to be resisting and the officers try to grab him by the hands and feet. One of them knees him three times. Benítez screams and writhes as the police remain on top of him, holding him down. After 40 seconds, an ambulance arrives and the same officer who kneed him tells onlookers to leave. Another officer arrives and kicks Benítez two more times. Later another officer punches Benítez up to five times in the upper part of the body.

The second video, shot from the other side of the street, shows Benítez no longer resisting, with five Mossos on top of him. One of them punches him six times, seemingly to the head.


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