Czech cop knocked Romani child from pram but the mother is being charged
Police spokesperson Hana Kroftová has informed news server Romea.cz that the municipal police officer in Rokycany who knocked over a pram with a 16-month old Romani infant in it during a careless and violent intervention against the child's mother will not be brought up on criminal charges. His actions have now been submitted to the Rokycany municipal authorities for misdemeanor review because detectives decided they did not rise to the level of a felony.
The patrolman was suspected of committing the felony offense of abusing the powers of a public official and is now supposed to be investigated by his employer in a misdemeanor proceedings. The commander of the Rokycany municipal police, Petr Wohlmuth, does not want to comment on the case until it is closed.
Unlike the police officer, the mother involved, Dana Giňová (age 22), has been charged with committing violence against a public official and rioting. She faces up to four years in prison.
Witness recorded the intervention
Rokycany municipal police intervened in a completely brutal, ridiculous way against the woman in March of this year when she was walking down the street with her child and her dog. The reason for the intervention, during which a patrolman knocked the pram over, spilling the 16-month-old boy onto the street, was the fact that the woman's dog was not on a leash. The boy ended up with "only" a bump on his head. It was sheer luck that he did not split his head open on the curb.
The woman was walking with her child in the pram and with her dog to visit her mother. Her dog was not on a leash and she did not have any identification on her. This led to an argument with the police, who eventually knocked her to the ground and overturned the pram so that the child fell out. Fortunately, a witness recorded the incident on a mobile phone from the window of a nearby building.
In that video, Dana Giňová tells the police she doesn't have her identification on her and discusses that with them a bit. In the end she proposes that they come home with her to see her identification. However, when she sets off in that direction, a patrolman runs after her, grabs her, and tugs her away from the pram by her hip. The pram falls to the ground with her son in it and the mother responds by shouting. A policewoman at the scene quickly rights the pram and puts the child back in it.
The desperate mother then slips away from the police and does her best to leave the scene with her child. She does not succeed, as a police officer catches up with her and once again prevents her from leaving. This was the patrolman who has testified that Giňová attacked him. She admits to having shoved him away when he did not want to let her go to her crying and frightened child.
Municipal police edit their video
TV Nova managed to acquire a recording of the police intervention that was made by a video camera positioned directly on the intervening patrolman's chest. That recording has evidently been edited to at least partially correspond to the patrolman's claims.
"I didn't turn it over, she turned it over herself. I was holding her by one arm and her other arm was holding the pram. When I saw she was letting go of it, I grabbed her and drew her towards me, that was that yanking motion. She pushed the pram and overturned it," the intervening officer who used violence against Giňová told news server Tn.cz.
On the video, however, it is clear to see that the mother never let go of the pram and that the policeman pulled her to the side even though he must have known that the pram might be overturned as a result. TV Nova asked Andor Šándor, a security expert, for his opinion of the video, and he said that while the woman should have obeyed the patrolman's orders, the patrolman's behavior was unequivocally unprofessional, primarily the moment when he pushed her back and wouldn't permit her to go to her child.
Violence against a Romani woman is "in order"
The unedited recording that happened to be taken by a witness with a mobile phone spread online like an avalanche. Most of those commenting on it had harsh words for the municipal patrolman. However, when it came to light that the victim was Romani, opinions started to spread that she had deserved the intervention and that it should have been even harsher.
Openly racist opinions were published on the website diskuteri.eu. One user called "Lukino" wrote there: "I'm not going to watch it, but I know one thing for sure - the whore didn't get half of what she deserved!" Another user under the nickname of "Tankard" wrote: "The kid should be in an institution, the smoke should be sent to Pakistan, and the dog should be sent to the Vietnamese."
Among Romani commentators using Facebook when the incident occurred there was a call to send complaints en masse against the police intervention and for an objective investigation of the case. The demand was also voiced that the ombudsman get involved. Romani activist Ivanka Mariposa Čonková posted the following to her personal profile: "I disagree with this police intervention! I am writing a complaint and sending a copy by e-mail to the ombudsman. If the reality of this police brutality outrages you at least as much as it outrages me, write a complaint!"
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