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Patrik Banga: Police officer who beat Romani children in Slovakia must be fired, he relied on "cigoši" not complaining

30.4.2020 12:35
Patrik Banga (Collage: Romea.cz)
Patrik Banga (Collage: Romea.cz)

According to Romani community member and commentator Patrik Banga, who lives in the Czech Republic, the police officer who assaulted young Romani children in Krompachy, Slovakia, on Monday should be immediately fired. Banga expressed appreciation in a post on Facebook for MEP Peter Pollák's statement on the controversy.

Banga then said that because he himself is not a politician, he doesn't have to worry about being "correct" when expressing his own views on the matter. "I have a young daughter, and if a police officer did this to her, I would dedicate everything I have to getting him out of uniform," Banga posted.

"Unfortunately, this is not just unprofessional, it's a demonstration of an absolute ignorance of any principles of decency, and the 'person' who beat these children in this way is relying on the idea that 'cigoši' won't complain, or that, in short, nobody will take them seriously. During the 1990s we were beaten that same way [in the Czech Republic], today they are beating children like this in eastern Slovakia," Banga said.

If the officer is not fired, then there will be two consequences, in Banga's view. "Until that cop is out of uniform and punished for committing assault and abusing police powers, this will simply seem ok to the police there, because he will have gotten away with it," he posted.

The second consequence, in his view, will be that "children will become 'accustomed' from an early age to the idea that every once in a while somebody will beat them, and later in life they will consider it standard." Banga then described how, as a boy, he used to be beaten by police officers as a matter of course, basically because they had been trained to do so.

"Each of us who lived in [Prague]-Žižkov was beaten by the cops from time to time, and it seemed practically to normal to all of us because we had been accustomed to it from a young age. That is the biggest tragedy," he posted.

"Speaking purely incorrectly, the cop who did this is an absolutely ordinary racist. The more such people there will be in the police ranks, the more such situations will be considered 'normal'," Banga wrote.

"I'd just like to remind us all that it's the year 2020 and we live in the European Union. We're not living in Siberia under the Bolsheviks," Banga concluded.

In the Romani settlement of Krompachy, which is currently under quarantine due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a police officer is said to have used a truncheon to beat five young children and, according to their testimony, even threatened to shoot them. The reason the officer intervened against them is said to be that the children were collecting wood and playing outside the quarantine zone.

ryz, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Attack on Roma children, COVID-19, Police, Racism



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