Racist police brutality leads to the murder of another person …

Justice for Stanislav Tomáš
Romano Sumnal the association for Roma in Saxony, calls for Monday, 05.07.21 at 16 clock to a vigil in front of the Czech Consulate General in Dresden, Erna-Berger Str. 1, 01097 Dresden.

Stanislav Tomáš, 49 years old, Rom, was murdered by police in Teplice, Czech Republic, not far from the German border, on June 19, 2021. For more than six minutes a policeman knelt on his neck, after which he was dead. This situation looks familiar – it also led to the murder of George Floyd. The Czech government stands behind the officers and justifies their actions, the police denies any wrongdoing. Instead, they published a video to justify their behavior and spread defamatory information about the dead man.

Police violence is a problem for the Roma community across Europe. Racial profiling, racial resentment, and violence against members of the community are experienced by many on a daily basis. During the Corona pandemic, repression against Rom*nja has increased in many places. For example, the Roma Rights Center reports that there has been a noticeable increase in the number of raids on Roma communities throughout Eastern Europe and that police appear to be taking a more aggressive approach. [1]

There are no consequences for police engaging in violence. Their actions are justified by state authorities. Often there is a reversal by the authorities of those affected and those perpetrating violence. As a result, Rom*nja are exposed to enormous violence by the police and at the same time are sentenced to harsh punishments for things they did not do.[2] Social exclusion, discrimination and stigmatization within society prevent solidarity and justice for those affected. In Germany, members of the Roma community also experience police violence, discrimination and social exclusion on a daily basis. In April 2020, near Freiburg, members of a Roma family were injured, some seriously, during an operation by the police and public order office.[3] In Singen, at the beginning of the year, an eleven-year-old child was handcuffed and his family was insulted with the Z-word by the officer.[4] The police were not allowed to intervene in the case of a Roma family.

However, these are only a few cases that document open anti-Romaism and the problem of police violence. Research on police violence reveals that the number of unregistered incidents is high. According to the study by Tobias Singelstein of the Ruhr University Bochum, the ratio of reported crimes against police officers in Germany is 1:6, i.e. only every sixth crime is actually reported by those affected. The study on racial profiling by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in Switzerland supports this perspective.[6] Those affected report a lack of expertise on the part of lawyers, possible endangerment of their residence status, financial risk, but also the poor prospects of success. Moreover, cases of anti-Roma police violence are not systematically recorded.

The police operate in what appears to be a lawless space. They can be sure that their offense will either not be reported, will not be pursued further by the public prosecutor’s office, or that the case will be dropped in court at the latest or given a negligible penalty. The socially widespread anti-Romaism supports this reality. Especially in Germany, anti-Romaism has a long tradition and culminated in the murder of the Sintizze and Romnja during National Socialism. We have to face this social responsibility.

There have already been Roma Lives Matter rallies in Teplice and other places in Europe. However, the great resonance as with George Floyd has so far failed to materialize. It is important to show solidarity with the Roma community and to take to the streets against anti-Romaism and police violence.

Justice for Stanislav Tomáš
Romano Sumnal the association for Roma in Saxony, calls for Monday, 05.07.21 at 16 clock to a vigil in front of the Czech Consulate General in Dresden, Erna-Berger Str. 1, 01097 Dresden.

Solidarity with the victims of police violence

[1] https://www.pri.org/stories/2020-08-24/roma-persecution-intensifies-during-coronavirus-pandemic-europe
[2] https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2021/5/20/authorities-dont-treat-roma-like-ordinary-citizens
[3] https://zentralrat.sintiundroma.de/zentralrat-deutscher-sinti-und-roma-fordert-lueckenlose-aufklaerung-von-polizeigewalt-gegen-eine-roma-familie-in-freiburg/
[4] Singenhttps://www.sueddeutsche.de/politik/polizei-baden-wuerttemberg-sinti-polizeigewalt-kind-handschellen-1.5201627https://www.swr.de/swraktuell/offenbar-zweites-kind-in-singen-von-polizei-beleidigt-100.html
[5] https://kviapol.rub.de/index.php/inhalte/zwischenbericht
[6] https://www.rosalux.de/publikation/id/40493/racial-profiling/