National Guard officer fired for threatening to plant drugs on Moscow resident

A National Guard officer threatened to plant drugs on a Moscow resident, after his neighbor called the police over a noise complaint on June 6. A video of the incident later appeared online, leading to the officer’s dismissal.

Journalists from the publication “Bloknot” published the one-minute video on YouTube on June 10 and it began circulating on Telegram channels early the next day. It was recorded by a security camera installed in the victim’s room.

In the video, two National Guard officers can be seen entering the room, along with the man in question.

One officer asks him, “[Do I have to] explain to you what this is about or can you guess for yourself? Do you want to go to prison? Do you want to go to prison?” 

When the man responds with “For what?”, the officer threatens him: “Now I’ll plant drugs on you, you’ll go to prison, to the joint, for five years, is [that what] you want?”

According to Mediazonathe man in the video (the one wearing glasses) is named Alexander. His neighbor, Dmitry, sent the video to Bloknot. Dmitry told Mediazona that Alexander uploaded the recording of the incident later that evening (on June 6), but the next morning “unidentified plain-clothes officers” came to his home and “quietly and peacefully asked him to delete the video.” Alexander agreed to take it down. 

Dmitry suspects that the plain-clothes officers were from the National Guard, and that they were trying to cover up the incident to avoid a scandal. Alexander also received messages on social media from “some civilian people,” who strongly recommended that he delete the recording, Baza reported.

Dmitry later republished the video with Alexander’s permission. “Then there was another visit — these same men came and called me out to the street, because they knew that there were cameras set up in the apartment,” he told Mediazona. The plain-clothes officers asked Dmitry to “delete this video, so the incident would be hushed up.”

According to BloknotDmitry decided not to take down the video, in order to stand up against the pressure being put on his neighbor. “National Guard employees have a lot of power, but they are not using it in accordance with the law,” he told Bloknot. “We don’t live somewhere on the outskirts of our homeland, but in Moscow! Now we are seeing what’s happening in America, how citizens are opposing the police, we also have something to draw attention to.”

Alexander’s neighbor reportedly called the police because he was listening to loud music. The woman in question told the publication Life Shot that the conflict between her and her neighbor over his loud music had been going on for six months. She also claimed that on that particular day, he pushed her disabled son.

Dmitry, who witnessed the incident, told Bloknot that National Guard officers immediately acted aggressively towards Alexander. He also clarified for Mediazona that he and Alexander live in a communal apartment, and that the two of them installed cameras in the rooms because of their “difficult relationship with the neighbor and her sons.” Similarly, Alexander told Life Shot that he installed a camera in his room to “avoid incidents” with his neighbors.

The press service for the Moscow branch of the National Guard told the news site “Podyom” that they found out about the video a few days later, and subsequently launched an internal investigation. The press service said that the department identified the officers involved in the incident, and that one of them faced “strict disciplinary action.” The department’s official representative, Valery Gribakin, later clarified that the officer had been fired.

Alexander told Life Shot that representatives of the National Guard came to him to apologize, and showed him a copy of the order for the officer’s dismissal (Life Shot laterpublished a photo of the order on Telegram). Alexander now says he has no complaints against the department.

Dmitry, on the other hand, told Mediazona that he thinks the other officer present during the incident should be punished, as well. 

(C)MEDUZA 2020

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