Almost a year ago, new evidence revealed that 18-year-old Moroccan boy Ilyas Tahiri, who was staying in a private center for minors in Almeira in southern Spain, was suffocated to death by several security guards.
The video published on Tuesday 9 June by the website of the Spanish daily El País shows clearly that Tahiri died not from asphyxiation by a single person, but by six people – a manager of the center and five security guards.
Following this horrific incident, many Internet users immediately compared Tahiri’s death to that of George Floyd, the black American who was killed by a white policeman, triggering a wave of protests in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Last January, the investigating judge in charge of the case had concluded that there had been an “accidental sudden death” and dismissed the case. Since then, the young man’s family has filed an appeal, which is still under consideration.
According to the legal authorities, Tahiri, “a troublesome child who had previously been in several juvenile detention centers”, had to be restrained by the center’s security guards, apparently after a suicide attempt.
However, the intervention was totally disproportionate and, above all, “out of protocol”, as revealed by the CCTV camera images broadcast in their entirety (the scene lasts thirteen minutes) by El País, who comments: “We see [these] six people taking the youngster – handcuffed behind his back – into a small room, they place him on his stomach on a small bed and tie his feet, hands and torso, and simultaneously restrain him by weighing him down, as he was on his stomach the whole time”.
When you watch the whole video,” continues the daily reporter, “you don’t see any resistance from the young person at any time. But what you do see is that one of the center’s security guards – once the boy is on his stomach and under control on the bed – places his knee close to his head and presses down with all his weight”.