Two GNR police officers were forced to fire warning shots into the air after being surrounded by a violent mob in Olhão on Saturday night.
The incident was reported at around 10pm when two agents from the Moncarapacho GNR station travelled to Olhão to “return a lost document”. While on their way, they spotted a group of “two or three people” attacking an individual who asked for their help as they were driving by.
“The agents tried to help but suddenly they were surrounded by 20 to 25 people who came in support of the attackers, forcing the agents to fire four shots into the air. One of the agents was even attacked,” Faro PSP commissioner Hugo Marado told news agency Lusa.
After calling for backup, the agents were assisted by two PSP patrol cars and an intervention team who was patrolling the local streets to ensure the population was complying with Covid-19 restrictions, the commissioner explained.
However, the hostile behaviour continued. Commissioner Marado reports that stones were thrown at the agents as they arrived and one of the vehicles was damaged. Two of the attackers, a father and son, were arrested.
António Barreira, coordinator of the GNR professional association (ASP/GNR), has already criticised the “lack of support and confidence” that the GNR feel in the face of possible “disciplinary procedures regarding the use of necessary force to restore order”.
The association boss also called for heavier penalties for those who attack police officers while on duty.