Five-year-old killed by police armored vehicle is 'primary negligent party,' says expert's report

Five-year-old Efe Tektekin lost his life after being hit by an armored vehicle belonging to the police on Sept. 11 in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır. An expert's report prepared in the aftermath of the incident said that the boy was the "primary negligent party," while the police officer was the "contributory negligent party."

Duvar English

An expert's report prepared in the aftermath of a police armored vehicle hitting and killing a five-year-old in the southeastern province of Diyarbakır, said that the boy was the “primary negligent party” in the incident, Mezapotamya news agency reported on Dec. 4.

The case concerns Efe Tektekin, who lost his life after being hit by an armored vehicle belonging to the police on Sept. 11. The expert's report said that the police officer who had crushed the vehicle into the boy was the “contributory negligent party,” whereas Efe was the “primary.”

Following the five-year-old's death, a criminal case has been launched against the police officer named İ.A. The indictment prepared by the Diyarbakır Public Prosecutor's Office has charged the police officer of “causing involuntary manslaughter” and sought between two and six years in jail.

The indictment named the incident as an “accident” and included an autopsy report of Efe showing that he had lost his life due to “general body trauma, bone injuries in the head, cerebral hemorrhage, injury to internal organs and internal bleeding.” The indictment was later accepted by the Diyarbakır 9th Criminal Court of First Instance.

Meanwhile, an expert's report was prepared to be used during the judiciary proceedings. The report said that Efe was at fault for crossing the road running and not having his parents by his side; not checking the road properly; not taking into account the armored vehicle's distance from him and its speed; and not giving the right of way to the vehicle.

As for the police officer İ.A., who is standing trial without arrest, the expert's report said: “It has been concluded that the driver İ.A. is at fault in the accident that occurred since he did not slow down despite the scene of accident being a residential area and approaching the [road] intersection; he did not give way to the pedestrian who was crossing the road in the intersection entrance; he did not abide by the conditions required by the angle of field of view due to the vehicle's being armored; he did not pay the necessary attention to the vehicle and pedestrian traffic; he did not consult any breaking system in a bid to prevent the accident; he did not manoeuvre despite the left lane being empty; he was so absent-minded that he did not see the pedestrian before hitting him; he did not fulfill the obligation of care and attention; and therefore he did not use the vehicle in an effective, cautious way.”

The report's conclusion and opinion section said that Efe was the “primary negligent party” for violating the rules indicated in the 68th article of the Traffic Law and in the 138th article of the Traffic Regulations, whereas the police officer İ.A. was the “contributory negligent party” for violating the rules in the 52nd article of the Traffic Law and in the 101st article of the Traffic Regulations.

Lawyer: Indictment does not indicate whether the police officer has a license to use armored vehicle

Meanwhile, the lawyer of Efe's family made a statement regarding the case. The indictment does not include information on whether the police officer has a license to use the relevant armored vehicle, Sedat Çınar said. The lawyer said that the authorities had not asked if Efe's family had any witnesses to the incident. Çınar also said that the authorities have not yet notified them if the police officer in question is still on duty or not.

“The incidents of being hit by armored vehicles are happening very frequently. In none of them, a through investigation is being undertaken, because [the authorities] are letting those who do not have the relevant license use the the armored vehicles. They do not pay attention to human life in residential areas, because they know that they will not get into jail. In fact, this is not a traffic accident of 'reckless killing,' but instead of 'killing with eventual intent.' This means, there is an understanding of 'I drive through, if the vehicle hits someone, it hits; if someone dies, they just die,'” the lawyer said.

This is not the first time that someone in the Tektekin family has lost their life in a police-related event. Mehmet Tektekin, the 65-year-old grandfather of Efe, was killed when he was struck by a water cannon vehicle used by the police in Diyarbakır on June 6, 2018. A court later sentenced the police, who was driving the water cannon vehicle, to two years, nine months and 10 days in jail.