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January 20, 2022



Lucie Oračková on the death of a Romani man in Žatec: Czech Police are not protecting us

22.10.2016 9:40
Lucie Oračková
Lucie Oračková

Many people are outraged by the recent death of a young Romani man at a pizzeria in Žatec. Basically this is not about whether the person who died was Romani, Vietnamese or from the North Pole.

Generally speaking, to describe a person's cause of death as "not due to third-party involvement" is a bit odd. You are certainly asking why, since several hundreds or maybe even thousands of people die daily without anybody else's assistance.

In this particular situation, however, it is more than strange. Let's look at what we know more closely.

The young man who has died such an early death came to the pizzeria and, according to statements made by eyewitnesses, was aggressive. Who knows if the reason for that was that he had used drugs?

Allegedly he bothered several women sitting in the pizzeria and was raving about rudely. Yes, I understand.

In such a case it is necessary to pacify such a person in a proportionate way, and the best thing to do is remove him from the premises. It seems, however, that a small group of men in the pizzeria had a different opinion as to what should happen.

According to eyewitnesses, racist insults began to be hurled at the Romani man, along with kicks and punches. According to one eyewitness, that continued even after the arrival of our famous Police of the Czech Republic.

Those officers are said by one eyewitness to have held the man to the ground, and the small group of other men standing near him were able to merrily carry on with their actions. At this moment we cannot ascertain anything from the CCTV system that was there.

If the police release that footage, then we will all be that much the wiser. Or actually, maybe not.

As far as the police being supposed to "help and protect", the band of men in the pizzeria who were committing that assault were under their 100 % protection. To tell you the truth, I am not sure at all whether this incident was correctly dealt with, or whether the police behaved as they should have.

That must be assessed by their superiors, but will we be able to believe what they eventually decide? In any case, a young person has left this world who, according to the initial autopsy, died without the involvement of any third party.

Allegedly, that is what happened. Either that, or a human being has been killed.

He is said to have died without anybody else being to blame. That conclusion seems absurd.

The authorities reportedly didn't want to show his family the deceased's body. Who knows why?

Many of us do not believe we are getting all of the facts. We can probably assume that he certainly did not die because of eating too much pizza, or as a result of an allergic reaction to the Police of the Czech Republic.

As I have already mentioned, this actually is not about whether a Romani man or representative of any other nationality has died. This is a living being, a person.

If today people here are being treated the way this man seems to have been treated in this case, then we have no other choice but to pray for a better tomorrow if we don't want to live in fear for our own lives, because it is clear the police will not protect our lives. From my own personal experience, I can say they certainly will not protect our lives.

In 2015 a friend of mine and I were participating in a blockade of a neo-Nazi march, and we were pushed back into the crowd when the police began to use force. The officers were on horseback, but they decidedly did not behave like knights.

Those officers created an enormous mass psychosis in the crowd, as a consequence of which we ended up lying on the ground as approximately 300 people or more freely walked across our bodies. When I grabbed onto a member of the Police of the Czech Republic and asked for help, he shook me off and pushed me back down to the ground.

I felt a fist strike my head, and then I got to learn that a dose of pepper spray in the eyes from a distance of 10 centimeters is not very pleasant. If some members of the anarchist movement had not been there, who literally stuffed themselves beneath us to hold our heads up, we certainly would not have been long for this world.

After about 20 minutes, somebody dragged me out of the crowd, and in my confusion I didn't even know if my entire body was in one piece, if I might not be missing an arm or a leg. A couple of good souls took me into their care, rinsing out my eyes, and I looked for my friend, whom somebody else had been kind enough to drag away from that frightful mob.

We went straight to the emergency room and spent about three hours there. We escaped with only some bruises, punctures and scratches, and we thank the Lord God for that.

What about the young man at that pizzeria? If somebody had taken him away from the restaurant, taken him somewhere to sober up, or even just left him out on the street, he might still be with us here today.

Is there anything we can do about this? Can we, ordinary people, change the way the police approach us?

After all, they are supposed to be part of "helping and protecting". Not "kicking and killing".

We do not want to live in fear here, and we do not want to live in fear for our children either. I express my sincere condolences to the entire family of the deceased, from the bottom of my heart.

Lucie Oračková, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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