Sunday, March 24, 2013
CZECH COPS OH MY
CZECH COPS EDITED FOOTAGE OF BRUTAL INTERVENTION AGAINS ROMANI WOMAN FOR MEDIA
TV Nova, the Czech Republic's most-watched private television channel, has managed to acquire video footage of a controversial intervention by municipal police in the town of Rokycany during which a pram with an infant in it was overturned on the street. The 16-month-old boy escaped serious injury through sheer luck.
The video footage was recorded by a camera mounted on the policeman's chest. The footage broadcast on television shows several edits. The police were asking the woman to show them her identification because her dog was not on a leash. According to current law, it is not necessary for individuals to carry identification with them at all times.
The controversial intervention, which was unnecessarily brutal at certain points, has prompted a broad range of responses. A witness to the incident also recorded video footage of it on his mobile phone which has spread through the internet like an avalanche. The video footage recorded by the witness is available here: http://www.romea.cz/cz/zpravodajstvi/domaci/brutalni-zasah-strazniku-proti-matce-s-sestnactimesicnim-ditetem-v-rokycanech-prevratili-kocarek-a-chlapecek-vypadl-ven
Most of those discussing the incident online have not spared the municipal officers harsh criticism. However, once it became clear that the woman involved is Romani, opinions began to spread that she had deserved the intervention and that it should have been even harsher.
Openly racist opinions have been posted, for example, to the diskuteri.eu news server. User "Lukino" wrote the following: "I won't watch that, but I know one thing for sure - they should have given it to the whore even more!" Another user with the nickname "Tankard" writes: "The kid should be in an institution, the darkie should be in Pakistan and the dog should be given to the gooks." The ROMEA civic association is considering legal action against the operators of the news server and the discussants.
A call has circulated among Romani Facebook users to file complaints en masse against this police intervention and for the case to be objectively investigated. People are also demanding that the ombudsman get involved. Yesterday Romani activist Ivanka Mariposa Čonková wrote the following on her Facebook profile: "I disagree with this police intervention! I am writing a complaint and copying the ombudsman by email. If the reality of this police brutality makes you as outraged as I am, then you can write a complaint too!"
The incident began with the police asking the woman for identification because her small dog was not on a leash. She did not have identification on her, and because she lives near the place where she was stopped, she wanted the officers to accompany her home so she could retrieve it.
On the police video recording provided to TV Nova in edited form, it can be seen that the conflict escalated right at the start, at the moment the officer prevented the woman from going to her 16-month-old son. During the subsequent intervention against the woman, the pram and the officers are knocked over.
The officer claims the woman assaulted him. She admits she pushed him when he refused to allow her to comfort her crying, frightened child.
"I didn't turn the pram over, she did it herself. I was holding her by one arm and she was holding the pram with the other. When I saw she was letting go, I grabbed her and drew her towards me, that was that yanking. She pushed the pram and overturned it," the intervening patrolman told news server Tn.cz.
TV Nova contacted a security expert, Andor Šándor, who said the woman should have obeyed the patrolman's instructions. On the other hand, he unambiguously labeled the patrolman's behavior as unprofessional, primarily at the moment when he pushed the woman and refused to allow her to go to her child. The edited video footage recorded by police and provided to the media is available here: http://www.romea.cz/cz/zpravodajstvi/domaci/romove-pisi-stiznosti-proti-brutalnimu-zakroku-strazniku-v-rokycanech
ryz, Nova TV, Tn.cz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
Posted by Morgan at 7:43 PM