Berlin. Crime scene Friedrichshain. Friday morning shortly after 4:00 a.m. Maria R. is shot in her apartment by cops from Section 51 (Wedekindwache). According to police reports to the busy Hofpresse(1), it should become clear rapidly: Maria is a mentally unstable person and had stormed towards the officers with a knife. We doubt this presentation by the Berlin police and consider the defending statement of police president Slowik as a challenge to the people of Berlin.
Originally published by Indymedia DE. Translated by Enough 14.
Maria is not an isolated case in Berlin and its immediate surroundings.
In 2008 the Berlin cop Reinhard Rother shoots the young Dennis “Jockel” in Schönfließ. He literally executes him in his car, emptying his entire magazine. The first shot was already deadly. Here too, the press and the cops reported a self-defence situation. Only afterwards it turned out that it was not the widespread version as described before. Conclusion: 2.5 years probation for the murder of Dennis.
In 2011 Berlin police officers murdered Slieman Hamade in Schöneberg by physically assaulting him. Kicks. punches. Pepper spray. Finally, Sliemann was dead and a month later the investigation against the cops involved was dropped. Only by creating publicity it was possible to reopen the case.
In 2016, with the execution of Hussam Fadl, the authorities begin to justify their actions by claiming it was a knife in play. Only through the courageous research of the lawyer it was possible to reopen the case and prove that the knife in question never existed.
In 2017 cops from Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania shot a 27-year-old from Kreuzberg, who is said to have entered a kiosk in Neubrandenburg. The justification for the fatal shots: The cop was sprayed with pepper spray.
In 2018 Fabien M. was killed by a police radio car. According to first reports she was distracted. It was only through an anonymous tip that it became known that police officer Peter G. was on patrol with 1.1 per mil alcohol.
In a few cases of these deadly events, we have been able to give our anger a voice and change public perception. The esprit de corps within the police force does not allow mistakes to be made, and when they do, public error analysis changes only to the extent that the evidence or interest in it shifts.
We cannot claim that we know what happened in Maria’s apartment or how the situation developed. But we want to state that there is a continuity in the cases of deadly police violence in Germany.
Today we decided to move our demonstration and go to Friedrichshain to move from theory to practice.
It would be a political disaster for us if we wouldn’t go to the place of execution and in the same time organize a congress dealing with counter-strategies in the context of police work.
The murder of Maria is part of a never-ending wave of violence by the state against its own people, against those who do not fit into the picture of the city’s usability. This murder is both symbolic and symptomatic of this system, which divides people into those who are usable and those who are not, and denies life to those who are not usable under capitalism.
The planned demonstration on the occasion of the European Police Congress should make visible our anger and sadness about these conditions. Which expression you choose for this is at your judgement and there should be no limits. The aim is not to hold a commemorative demonstration in a “classical” sense, we do not want to arrogate this.
The other side, however, will make every effort to accuse us of politically exploiting Mary’s death. With this we make it clear that we are not at all interested in the political instrumentalization of death, but rather to confront these conditions that led to Mary’s death in a militant, determined and solidary way. It is unacceptable that a government should have the legitimacy of life and death; in all cases of fatal shots, beatings or car accidents, the responsibility lies initially with the deceased, as in each of the cases mentioned above.
We will march past the house of one of the countless victims of deadly police violence in an appropriate manner. We will not hold a minute of silence because we want to give a voice to those who no longer have one.
The appropriate way in which you meet the murderers from the Wedekindwache (local police station, Enough 14) is left to you. To the cops we say: Respect means to stay away from this demonstration. You are responsible for the deadly and violent acts in this city.
From anger to resistance.
Friday January 31st | 20:00 | Wismarplatz | Berlin-Friedrichshain |
(1) Hofpresse: Uncritical media that serves to spread the message of of police (in this case) or other authorities or corporations.
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