Wednesday, March 4, 2009

(Another) Police Story

A couple of weeks ago, J., one of the teachers I work with, came into the office with a story. Seems a friend of his, who teaches and coaches at the Vienna International School, was attacked on the subway here. He had been on his train and noticed several men staring at him. When he got off at his station, they jumped him. One of them literally jumped on Mike's back. They beat him pretty badly, then left him there. Luckily Mike's girlfriend had shown up to meet him, and she helped him to a hospital.

Guess what? They were undercover cops. They didn't tell Mike that. They later claimed they had mistaken him for a drug dealer. You see, Mike is black. It's possible the police mistook him for an African. Nope. Mike is African-American.


That morning, after the hospital doctors fixed him up and put him on crutches, Mike actually went in to work. He told his coworkers what had happened to him. They were outraged. They told him he had to file a complaint with the police. And, crucially, they insisted that Mike go to the American Embassy with his story. He did both.

Then a familiar chain of events unfolded. After complaints from the US Embassy and some press attention to the case, the police claimed that there had been no incident. [Curiously, they also claimed that there was no surveillance camera footage of the incident, even though there are cameras all over every U-Bahn station in the city.] Then the police claimed they had identified themselves, but Mike had resisted arrest. Now "police experts" are claiming that Mike's injuries may actually be from some earlier time in his life. Even though the doctors who treated him have said, nope, he suffered these injuries that day.

(To be continued)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

god, what a horrific bad as it can get in the States.