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A disturbing video capturing two Madrid police officers using excessive force against two unarmed Black men at Lavapies Plaza has sparked outrage and calls for action in Spain.

The video, which circulated widely on social media platforms, shows one police officer employing a chokehold on one of the men. In contrast, the other officer repeatedly strikes him with a baton. The second man standing nearby is also grabbed and punched by the Spanish officers.

According to reports from the Guardian, the two men were allegedly arrested for “undermining authority.”

However, Spanish sources indicate that the men were actively involved in local charity groups and distributing food to young men in the neighborhood at their arrest.

In response to the video, protestors gathered at Lavapies Plaza on March 31 to demand an investigation and accountability for the racist behavior exhibited by the police officers.

The incident has brought renewed attention to the issue of police brutality in the Lavapies neighborhood.

Serigne Mbayé, a prominent politician known for his anti-racism activism in the area, expressed gratitude that a neighbor was able to capture the incident on camera.

“Thanks to a neighbor who was able to record this, the police brutality that happens regularly in this neighborhood has been seen.”

Mbayé continued, “We’re telling the government to take action. This cannot go on. We’re in Spain, we’re in the 21st century. Everyone has rights.”

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The video has prompted broader discussions about racial discrimination and police violence in Spain. Antiracist organizations have highlighted the prevalence of such incidents in neighborhoods like Lavapies and called for comprehensive reforms to address systemic issues within  Spanish law enforcement agencies.

Isabel Serra, a spokesperson for the Podemos party, described the incident as “all too common” among Black folks living in Spain.

Íñigo Errejón, a spokesperson for the Sumar leftwing alliance, demanded an explanation from the interior ministry regarding the officers’ behavior, asking, “What measures will be taken in response to citizen complaints regarding the existence of police violence against migrants in the Lavapiés neighborhood?”

The Ministry of the Interior, the Spanish national office responsible for protecting human rights in Madrid, has investigated the incident.

As the investigation unfolds, residents of Lavapies and supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement in Spain are urging authorities to take decisive action to hold the responsible officers accountable for excessive force and address the underlying issues of systemic racism within law enforcement agencies.

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