Turkey's Constitutional Court has ruled that the police had violated the right to life of a 14-year-old child by using pepper gas against him and causing him to die.
The top court ordered the state to pay 225,000 liras in non-pecuniary damages to the deceased child's family.
The incident occurred on Sept. 24, 2017 in the western province of İzmir's Bayraklı district. The police received three separate notifications that a youth was using drugs at a park on the day. They found Yiğitcan C. at the park and started to have an argument with him. They later used pepper gas against the child, who was dispatched to the hospital due to the effects of the gas. He lost his life there.
The autopsy report said that the tear gas was not used in a way to cause the child's death. Yiğitcan C.'s family filed an appeal against the autopsy report, which was rejected by the İzmir Regional Administrative Court. The family then took the case to the Constitutional Court, which ruled in favor of the applicants and sent the file back to the İzmir Regional Administrative Court for a retrial.
“It has been understood that it was possible for the police officials to take alternative measures to prevent him [the child] from running away or showing resistance, taking into account that the person resisting was a 14-year-old child, his physical power, and that there was no suspicion of him carrying a weapon or a similar tool of attack,” the top court said, adding that the police's use of force was disportionate.