After Ibrahima B. died in police custody, there were riots with more than 100 arrests. The public prosecutor promises to clarify.
Brussels on Wednesday evening: a protester throws stones at the police officers Photo: Francisco Seco / ap / dpa
BRUSSELStaz | The body of the Belgian king was thrown with stones, there were more than a hundred arrests: After the death of a 23-year-old in police custody, there were serious riots in Brussels. Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne announced action: “The rioters will not get away with it,” said the minister.
The approved demonstration in the municipality of Schaerbeek was initially peaceful. The approximately 500 participants called for an explanation of the death, some participants also chanted “Black Lives Matter”. In addition, the names of the youngest victims of alleged police violence in Brussels were shown and called. When the demo broke up on Wednesday afternoon, a group of angry youth attacked the police, which led to riots. A police station went up in flames and several police cars were demolished. The car of the Belgian King Philippe, who happened to be passing by, was also attacked, but without consequences.
The escalation does not come as a surprise. In Brussels, several young people had died in police operations in the past few months, and the mood has heated up. In particular, immigrants from Africa accuse the police of racist attacks. At first glance, Ibrahima B., who died on a guard on Saturday evening, was also a victim of police violence.
The black young man with Guinean roots had evaded a corona control near the Brussels North Station. He was one of too large a group of young people that the police wanted to check out. Although he was initially able to escape, he was caught by the police and taken to the station for interrogation.
The suspicion: Did the police call a doctor too late?
Ibrahima collapsed there from initially unexplained circumstances. An autopsy of the body revealed that he died of heart failure. Forensic medicine found the 23-year-old had a congenital heart defect. However, there is a suspicion that the police officers may have called a paramedic too late.
The Brussels public prosecutor’s office promised a “full investigation of the events”. The independent “Committee P”, which reviews police work in Belgium, has also launched an investigation. The focus is on the question of whether the police behaved correctly – or whether racism and violence played a role in Ibrahima’s death.
On Saturday, the Federal Committee of the Left Party dealt with the police attacks on the Luxemburg-Liebknecht demonstration in Berlin on January 10th and passed the following resolution:
The federal committee of the party Die Linke has taken note of the declaration of the alliance in preparation for the demonstration as part of the Luxemburg Liebknecht honor, January 11, 2021
The Federal Committee decidedly condemn the police violence against participants in the demonstration as part of the Luxemburg Liebknecht ceremony on January 10, 2021.
We see this as an attempt to forcefully enforce the ban on the FDJ, which is still in force in the former western sectors of Berlin and the so-called old federal states, even in those countries in which it actually does not apply after the Unification Treaty of 1990.
We call on those who are politically responsible for the deployment of the police in the state of Berlin to put an end to this arbitrary police force.
The peace plenum in Bochum drew attention to the action day planned for January 22nd on the occasion of the entry into force of the nuclear weapons prohibition treaty in a press release:
On Friday, January 22nd, 2021, the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons comes into force. The treaty prohibits, among other things, the manufacture, distribution, transfer, stationing of and the threat of nuclear weapons. IPPNW, DFG-VK and the Peace Plenum will organize a celebration on the Bochum town hall forecourt on Friday at 11 a.m. – very small under pandemic conditions. (…)
Rima Ideguchi from Bochum is the guest of the celebration. Her grandfather Shigemi Ideguchi was one of the few who survived the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima in 1945 only 500 meters from the epicenter – despite the most severe burns and radiation. (…)
As a symbol for the 50 states that have ratified the UN Treaty on Nuclear Weapons, 50 decorated chairs will be set up in front of the town hall on Friday. Another empty chair stands in the middle and behind it a banner is held to remind that the federal government and the grand coalition that supports it have so far refused to sign the contract. The banner says: Germany is missing!
The climate camp on the fish market in Augsburg has existed for 200 days. In a press release from Saturday it says:
(…) The city government’s reaction so far has been shockingly passive. With such The climate campers themselves did not expect any duration. (…) The number of active people and supporters is constantly growing. (…) People from all over Germany still come to support the campers. Only after the city tried unsuccessfully to take action against the presence of the camp through legal proceedings, did it begin substantive discussions with the demonstrators. But these are similarly sobering. Because with goals that just lead to the inadequate coalition agreement being adhered to, calculations still cause three times as many emissions as Augsburg is still entitled to proportionally according to the IPCC report 2018, not to reach the vital 1.5 degree limit To exceed.
For months, people in Belarus have been protesting against dictator Lukashenko. A sound recording by a high-ranking official shows the regime’s nefariousness: it speaks of impunity for security forces – and of a camp for those who think differently.
A leaked sound recording causes great horror in Belarus. In a speech to his employees, an influential regime functionary spoke of the plans of the ruler Alexander Lukashenko to set up a camp for opponents of the regime. The picture was probably made in October and was published a few days ago by the BYPOL initiative; the organization documents violations of the law committed by representatives of the state apparatus. Nikolai Karpenkow, at that time the commander of a special unit who has since been promoted to deputy interior minister, described people who protest against Lukashenko as “superfluous” and called on the police to use sharp weapons against them.
According to Karpenkow, the planned camp is to be built for the permanent resettlement of people who repeatedly take part in protest actions. “It was ordered to plan and build a camp,” said Karpenkow. It should not be a camp for “prisoners of war” or “internees”. Rather, it should be a facility for “particularly rebellious”. The area was to be secured with barbed wire. The Ministry of the Interior has created a database in which information is stored on people who were arrested for participating in “unauthorized mass events”.
It is unclear whether the project is still being pursued. BYPOL reports that an insider from security circles has confirmed plans. The initiative called the planned camp the “new Auschwitz”. Opposition politician Pawel Latuschko, who lives in exile in Poland, said that such an approach would not be tolerated: “According to Karpenkov’s statements, nobody can have the slightest doubt: all atrocities in Belarus are carried out on instructions from Lukashenko.” The main task of the security forces is currently not the protection of the population, but the protection of Lukashenko and his family, emphasized the politician and added: “We are again turning to the international institutions with an urgent appeal to set up a tribunal against Lukashenko.”
“Shoot right in the forehead”
In the speech, Karpenkow also assured his employees that Lukashenko would personally guarantee impunity in the event of the use of deadly weapons: “We are comprehensively protected by the head of state with regard to the use of weapons,” said Karpenkow, who had already publicly threatened the use of firearms by the security forces in the autumn. “As the President said,” the police should shoot protesters “at close range”, “in the legs, in the stomach, in the testicles,” said Karpenkow and added: “Shoot directly in the forehead, directly in the face” . Even if they were then resuscitated, “they will only have half the brain; well, they deserve that,” Karpenkow said. In his words, everyone who takes to the streets is “basically terrorists; they are superfluous people in our country”.
The functionary also mentioned the death of the first victim of the protests and cursed him as an “idiot” and “drunkard”. “Of course, he died from a rubber bullet that hit his chest. He was standing there in a T-shirt and I think the bullet won’t have caught on the outside of the shirt,” Karpenkov scoffed. The 34-year-old protester was shot dead on August 10, and the authorities have not opened an investigation since then.
Since the controversial presidential election on August 9, after which Lukashenko was declared the victor again after 26 years in office, there have been regular protests against him. The police and army repeatedly use force against peaceful demonstrators. More than 30,000 people were arrested, hundreds injured, some seriously, and at least seven people were killed by the security forces.
You lie like it is printed, so getting rid of truthful reports is consistent. Asked on Sunday jW while the Luxemburg-Liebknecht demonstration in Berlin was still in progress, a message was posted on the “social network” Facebook about police violence. It said that “even minors and a wheelchair user” had been attacked and that the latter had been “dragged along the sidewalk” according to an eyewitness. In addition published jW a photo in which a young person wearing an FDJ shirt is being held by a police officer in the clutch. On Monday, the Internet company based in Menlo Park, California, which is followed by 2.9 billion users, removed text and images and announced: “Apparently, some of the content you posted does not meet our community standards. We remove images that glorify violence or contain certain images of extreme violence. «Pretty much nothing is right about the sentences. In recent years, Facebook has probably become the most important promoter and promoter of nationalist and racist agitation worldwide. The manipulation of the “Brexit” referendum in Great Britain in 2016 or the election of Donald Trump as US President in the same year has been confirmed, without the company taking any major consequences. The outrage grew to such an extent that companies like Adidas, Aviva, Coca-Cola, Ford, HP, Mars, Starbucks, Unilever and others imposed an ad boycott on Facebook for July 2020. That has changed little.
The action taken by Facebook against jW is also inconsistent: The post to jW– The lead story on page one of the Monday edition, which contained a picture of the demonstration as well as the photo of the message on Facebook and the same passages of text, was not removed until Monday afternoon. The extreme use of force by a police officer who jumped at demonstrators in a video circulating on the Internet with his foot pulled up to head height, which was reported in the article, was at least no reason for an order to be deleted.
In this case, Facebook’s deletion practice corresponds to the ritually anti-communist reporting on the Luxemburg-Liebknecht demonstration on Monday and the statements made by the Berlin police. Under the heading “Police oversee several memorial meetings”, she said on Monday that around 30 people “wearing clothes and flags with FDJ symbols” had been arrested. There was “the suspicion of showing the marks of unconstitutional organizations in a criminal way.” The request to take them off was not complied with. There were acts of resistance and bottles were thrown, which is why “freedom-restricting measures” were taken. 17 officers were injured. The dpa and various newspapers reported accordingly, downplaying the brutal police attacks to “scuffles”. The Berliners Morning mail shot down with the assertion that, according to the Bundestag’s scientific services, “the use of FDJ badges is punishable under Section 86a of the Criminal Code”. In reality, an elaboration of the services from 2014 (WD 7-3010-028 / 14) says: “The ban was limited exclusively to the FDJ-West”, which was banned in the FRG in the 1950s.
The jW– The editorial team and the publisher have protested against the deletion.
Oury Jalloh died in police custody 16 years ago. At the time it looked like the matter would be quickly forgotten. The opposite happened.
The name and face of Oury Jalloh are recognizable today Photo: Sascha Steinach / imago
On the first anniversary of Oury Jalloh’s death, who burned to death 16 years ago in a police cell in Dessau, 40 people gathered in downtown Dessau. Most of them were African asylum seekers. They tried to keep alive the memory of the unimaginable, which was becoming more and more evident at that time: that Jalloh did not set itself on fire, as the police and the judiciary claim to this day, but was burned alive.
The public is not a court, but there is such a thing as a social judgment
Hardly anyone believed that at the time, and hardly any medium was interested in the case. The most likely scenario was that the matter would just as quickly sink into oblivion as “unsolved”, such as the other two deaths, Hans Jürgen Rose and Mario Bichtemann, who died shortly before after they were brought to the Dessau district.
But the memory of Jalloh’s death has not faded or even disappeared today. Rather, it has increasingly penetrated the collective consciousness.
In recent years a four-digit number of people gathered on the days of Jalloh’s death. They came in buses from all over the country, passed the courthouse, where two of the police officers involved were acquitted in 2008. Even the presiding judge, Manfred Steinhoff, considered the verdict to be a scandal: police officers “without hesitation gave false testimony”, they had “badly harmed the state of Saxony-Anhalt”, Steinhoff complained at the time and concluded with the words: “I don’t feel like it to say something about this shit. “
The goal is not a judgment, but to convince
But others continued to talk. For 16 years, the activists of the “Initiative in memory of Oury Jalloh” have not let up in keeping memories alive. At a panel discussion two years ago, they spoke about how they envision the “enlightenment” they are calling for. A new – it would be the third – process doesn’t interest them, they said. The judiciary had shown what to expect from it in this matter: Nothing. Rather, their goal, the activists said, is to educate the public about what has happened. If they were able to make it clear to many people that the official version of Jalloh’s death was a lie, they would have achieved what matters.
Especially through her work, more and more evidence came to light that Jalloh did not set himself on fire. They were discussed, filmed, flowed together into a counter-narrative to the claims of the judiciary. And in doing so, they raised awareness of how racist police violence can unfold and end in Germany – which was also an important basis on which the Black Lives Matter protests last summer could build.
The public is not a court. And yet there is such a thing as a social judgment. And in this, the name Oury Jallohs is now synonymous with a police and judicial scandal of the darkest kind.
It was only a few months ago that a 300-page report appeared, written by two lawyers who were appointed because the CDU in the state parliament of Saxony-Anhalt wanted to prevent a parliamentary committee of inquiry. The two “advisors” were not even allowed to be called “investigators” and their report, which ultimately defends the actions of the judiciary, can safely be counted among the many efforts to bring the whole thing to a close once and for all.
But you have to realize that it didn’t work. Nobody had to resign, but the police, the judiciary and the rulers in Saxony-Anhalt never let go of the case. It sticks to them to this day, and will remain so for a long time.
On Tuesday, a guest article by the North Rhine-Westphalian Prime Minister appeared in the “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger”. Armin Laschet (CDU) asked the victims of the often sexualized assaults on Cologne New Year’s Eve five years ago for forgiveness for the neglect of the state government and authorities.
We remember: at that time the Federal Republic of Germany had taken in almost a million refugees who had reached the German-Austrian border via the Balkan route. The mood was heated up anyway, hostility was felt not only for newcomers, but also for those who had lived here for a long time. The fact that Arab-looking men in particular have since been seen and treated as potential criminals more often than before has something to do with that New Year’s Eve in Cologne in 2015. At that time there were numerous groping against partying women on Cologne’s Domplatte. The perpetrators are said to have been predominantly young men, allegedly from the Maghreb states. Laschet stated on Tuesday that the state had “abandoned 661 women” that night. The CDU politician complains that there were only 36 convictions in more than 1200 reports and that only three men were convicted of sexual offenses.
There is not a word of apology in his newspaper article, however, against dozens of people against whom unjustified investigations were initiated and who had to laboriously prove that they could not have committed acts of which they were accused. And Laschet does not ask for forgiveness from thousands of people who since then have been checked much more often than before for absolutely no reason and whose shops or shisha bars are regularly raided. The criminalization of entire city districts, particularly in North Rhine-Westphalia, and the stigmatization of large Arab families as “criminal clans” by police presidents and politicians such as North Rhine-Westphalia Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) are also not mentioned. All of this has increased again in the last five years and extends to handouts for police officers brimming with racist stereotypes (»nd« reported on September 25th).
The prejudiced view also leads to what is known as racial profiling, which non-white people experience again and again, i.e. frequent unreasonable checks of personal documents simply because of their appearance. Police officers themselves do not consider this kind of thing to be racist, but rather necessary – and as a result of experiences with “foreigners”, “blacks” or “Nafris” (the abbreviation from police jargon stands for “North African intensive offender”).
The interim results of the long-term research project “Physical injury in office by police officers” at the University of Bochum, published in mid-November, show that there is little awareness of the problem among police officers. The team around the criminologist Tobias Singelnstein had asked members of migrant groups about the nature of their contacts with the state authorities and police officers. The result of the – not representative – survey: 62 percent of participating non-white people or People of Color (PoC) stated that they had experienced discrimination during controls and other encounters with police officers. The Bochum-based company published the first results as early as 2019. They assume at least 10,000 cases of unjustified police violence in Germany per year, most of which are not reported because lawyers advise against it. Because the prospect of success, i.e. the initiation of investigative proceedings against the officers involved, is minimal, the prospect of a police officer even being brought to justice and convicted is almost zero.
On the one hand, there are reasons enough for an independent study on racism in security authorities and, on the other hand, for the creation of independent ombudsmen to whom those affected by police violence can turn. These are likely to be disproportionately often also people with a migration history. So far, police officers have been investigating colleagues internally. In view of numerous reports of such incidents, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance recommended in March that the federal government should commission a study, particularly on racial profiling. After the Federal Ministry of the Interior had initially declared that such an investigation would be initiated, the denial came at the beginning of July: Completely unnecessary, clarified head of the department Horst Seehofer (CSU). After all, racism is forbidden to civil servants, and there is already a “zero tolerance” policy. With this attitude he also prevailed in the grand coalition against the SPD. Many social democratic federal and state politicians had endorsed such a study, not least because it could provide valuable insights for the prevention of illegal and racist behavior by police officers in police training and everyday life. Instead, Seehofer complained repeatedly about the supposedly huge number of “attacks” on police officers – and on December 8, commissioned a study with a completely different content: It should shed light on the everyday work of the police officers, where there are overload situations and the extent of violence against officials . In addition, compliance with the “principle of zero tolerance towards anti-Semitism, right-wing extremism and racism” should also be checked. The institution carrying out the investigation is not a “civilian” university, but the German Police University. It is hardly to be expected that such a problem will actually be explored or even fought.
“Are we no more than bodies for people – individuals who manage what is physically impossible for almost everyone else and entertain the fans with it?”, Naomi Osaka recently asked in an article for the “New York Times”. In her second US Open victory in September, she wore a different name of a victim of police violence in the United States on her mask for each game. Osaka sees itself as a citizen with responsibility: “If we don’t perform, we live in the same country as everyone else. But we are more present than ever. So we also have more responsibility to open our mouths. “(Chwb.)
Columbus. In the United States, a deadly police operation against an unarmed African American causes horror. Footage from an official’s body camera, circulated on Thursday, showed him killing 47-year-old Andre Maurice Hill with multiple gunshots in the garage of a house in Columbus, Ohio.
The Mayor of Columbus, Andrew Ginther, was “outraged” by the incident. An African-American man had been shot dead by the police in the city three weeks earlier. Once again, police officers saw a black man and concluded “that he is criminal and dangerous,” commented attorney Ben Crump, who represents several families of victims of police violence, on Hill’s death.
The footage shows Hill approaching the police officer on Monday evening. He is holding a cell phone in his left hand, his right hand cannot be seen. Seconds later, the officer fires and Hill collapses. The policeman had been called to the location about a minor incident. According to media reports, it was about a man who sat in a car and repeatedly started and switched it off.
Why the policeman shot is unclear. The video is without sound. Hill didn’t carry a gun. According to local media, complaints about the disproportionate use of force are said to have been received against the police officer.
In early December, 23-year-old Casey Goodson Jr. was shot dead by a police officer in Columbus when he was returning home. According to his family, he was holding a sandwich in his hand that the officer thought was a gun.
Also read: Even if white small townspeople protest – the Black Lives Matter protests are changing public opinion
Last year there were months of nationwide protests against excessive violence and racism in the United States. The demonstrations were triggered by the murder of the unarmed African American George Floyd during a police operation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in late May. There were repeated riots on the fringes of the largely peaceful protests. AFP / nd
ITime and again in America there are protests against cases of extreme police violence against black people, and there are repeated fatal shots at the unarmed. Many see the cause of this calamity as the fact that white police officers have racial prejudice. One of the world’s best-known researchers on violence has now contradicted this obvious interpretation: According to the American sociologist Randall Collins, referring to the relevant research in his field, the violence of the police hits African Americans more often and harder than other groups, but not out of racism, but for other reasons. Physical violence – for Collins, this is something like the end point of a derailed situation, triggered by behaviors that can very well be observed in black police officers and white suspects.
On the one hand, all police officers, including the black ones, place considerable value on the audience recognizing their definition of the situation, voluntarily and not just out of fear of otherwise threatening coercion. They expect citizens to attribute the professional mistrust they display towards them to their role and not to themselves.
According to an older study by the organizational sociologist John Van Maanen, which goes back to his own participation in police operations, the law enforcement public is quite ready to do so. An important motive is of course that someone seeks the help of the police. But even those classified as suspicious, who did not seek to talk to the police on their own initiative, usually cooperate willingly – those with a clear conscience because they have it, and others to give the impression that they have it it.
Violence from false expectations
On the other hand, there are numerous groups in this audience who consider it treason if one of their members cooperates with the police at all. The means to earn and maintain group approval then takes on the character of a test of courage that is repeated over and over again. It is important to show at every opportunity how much you despise the police officers as such – and of course especially when they meet you on the street and in front of spectators from your own group.
If such a morality, which can of course also be observed in groups of white young people, meets the opposing expectations of the police, then both sides have a good reason to see the situation with regard to the otherwise threatened violence. Where voluntary cooperation is refused, the question must be obvious to the police whether they should force the desired behavior. And the prospect of it alone has a number of effects that do not only occur when the threshold of open physical abuse has been crossed.
To understand this, one has to add another consideration to the research reported by Collins. The prospect of superior physical violence destroys one of the foundations of social order: it removes the self-commitment of those involved through their own behavior. Every free action says something about the doer himself and thus obliges him to stay on the line once chosen. If one fulfills a wish for the other, then he is bound for other occasions.
The cop and the bank robber
Such binding effects of free action disappear, however, if one is obviously only doing what one would otherwise be forced to do. Actions of this kind are not attributable to the agent. They do not show his true attitudes and therefore cannot oblige him to continue. He may meet the expectations of the police, but that doesn’t mean that he recognizes their leadership claims.
In this respect, the situation of the armed police officer, who cannot assume respect for his institution, is similar to that of the armed bank robber: the fact that his instructions are followed says little about what will happen in the next moment, nor does it guarantee that any Weaknesses are not immediately exploited.
Whoever is threatened acts out of fear and therefore does not deserve trust even if he does what he is told, not even if he offers additional services. The right attitude towards him can only be extreme suspicion. One must not take his eyes off him for a moment and must fear an ambush in every unexpected movement. As the model of the armed bank robbery shows, such situations are extremely unstable, and the transition from possible to real violence can be triggered not only by open disobedience and also not only by the armed man’s justified fear of the other side’s weapons, but by any coincidence will.
Randall Collins, Seven Reasons Why Police Are Disliked, im Netz unter: https://www.drrandallcollins.com/sociologicaleye; John Van Maanen, The Asshole, in: ders. (Hrsg.), Policing: A View from the Street, Santa Monica 1978.
Last week, in my column »Erase yourself from the Internet, police press!«, I demanded that the state of Berlin prohibit its police from sharp shooting via Twitter. This was well received by the Presidium, because they quickly demonstrated again how urgent this demand is: As if to make fun of the fact that the public is relatively helpless in front of news about new individual Nazi cases in uniform, which comes in almost every day, they posted On Sunday, Berlin colleagues received an “88” that was of course not meant in that way – the Nazi code for “Heil Hitler”. Really?
December 13th, December 13th So, left groups used to draw attention to police violence or the questionable role of the authorities in capitalist patriarchy. The numerical code “1312” stands for “ACAB” and thus for “All Cops Are Bastards”, based on the placement of the letters in the alphabet. The message: It is not individual officers who tarnished the reputation of the rest of the police with wrong behavior – rather, it aims at the regular role of the police in a society based on violence, domination and oppression, to act as an asshole.
While in Leipzig-Connewitz there was a good fight again on the occasion and the police are now supposed to investigate themselves for bodily harm after the appearance of corresponding video evidence, the Berlin colleagues relocated their activities on the occasion of the day corona-compliantly on the Internet. The official account of the Berlin police posted a picture of a Coke and a beer bottle, each hung with a handcuff, on Twitter. In addition the text: “We wish everyone a peaceful 3rd Advent. This year it falls on the 1312 – to celebrate the day we decorated something with our “eighth”. Take good care of yourself and stay healthy, dear colleagues out there. “
Two eights, so “88”, in response to leftists and their anger at the police? Many users also asked indignantly. The PR cops behind their computers were just as “outraged” and replied, joking as usual: “88? Really now? “And:” We will not let our mood be spoiled on 1312 and give no appreciation to such comparisons. “
But the aforementioned picture with the cola and beer bottles was chosen deliberately. Because “ACAB” could just as well stand for “Eight Cola, Eight Beer!” And encode a harmless ordering process. At least this is a popular delicacy in scene circles, which you can retreat to after the ACAB rumgeprolle, should there be trouble against all expectations. Of course, police officers all over the country also know that, and sometimes it is likely to cause not insignificant frustration to be served up this story with a grin by some peckish youngsters.
So the two bottles stand for an encrypted message in the message, which relates to saying something that no one can prove. And that is exactly what the officials are doing in response to the anticipated outrage from the left: They want to find it completely absurd that one could accuse them of an ambiguity with the Hitler salute. The social media officials as well as the general public know that in internal chats by police officers not only racist remarks, but also Hitler pictures and other Nazi license plates are exchanged – that it is by no means absurd, in the year To believe in 2020 that some police officers could greet each other with an outstretched arm.
Anyone who unreasonably replies with “Heil Hitler” to “ACAB” because they consider it to be a kind of comparable border crossing has a problem – a Nazi problem. It shouldn’t matter how funny or appropriate you find the level of irony in the action. The question is whether we should also finance this with our tax revenues in the form of independent police media. I honestly don’t feel like this shit anymore.