An Episode of Violence, 2021
Individuals who are seeking for opportunities to exercise gratuitous violence, will find plenty as law enforcement agents. Most perpetrated violence will likely go unpunished. (Police Violence for Dummies, 2021}
I consider myself lucky. As a white boy growing up in a predominantly white, and relatively safe society, police violence was never a primary concern. Nonetheless, and even though it wasn't that dramatic, I had a chance to experience it firsthand.
I am riding my bicycle to meet her. Tonight we are going to a party out of town. She has a scooter and often offers to tow me. As it can be tiring for her arm, I sometimes lock my bike and sit behind her instead, even though this option entails the risk of getting a fine. I am riding my bicycle, and I am cycling as fast as I can, for I am late. Suddenly, I hear a vehicle accelerating. The next moment, I am flying over a car hood. I swear. As I am realizing I just got cut off by a police car, a huge officer grabs me and throws me in the car. He loads my bike in the trunk and starts to drive without any explanation. The back seats are made of a single piece of hard plastic, with no loose components. A sheet of glass separates this part of the passanger compartment from the front sits. Of the two agents sitting there, i already know who is the bad cop. I am scared. I try to ask what is happening, I didn't do anything wrong. No reply. My heart is pounding, I am thinking about those who were beaten up during the recent G8 in Genova. I was suppose to meet a friend, she shouldn't be left waiting on the streets at night. No reply. Don't I have the right to know why and where are you taking me? No reply. The drive is short, I notice we are entering the police headquarter. I start to picture the tiny room where I will be tortured. White, hard walls, no forniture, neon lights at the ceiling. I wonder if I will be able to get out of it unharmed. I am at their mercy. As soon as the engine is off, I realize my questions and claims of innocence have likely made things worse. I should have enjoyed those harm-proof seats after all. I try to show i am collaborative. I am coming, I will do anything you ask me to do. Doesn't help, the bad cop drags me out of the car and pushes me into the building through a back door. He is now holding my arm with one hand, pressing his knuckles into my back with the other. The pain forces the curvature of my spine, in a position where my vital parts are exposed. Going up the staircase, I notice his colleague isn't there anymore. I bet no surveillance camera here, but try not to panic. Once more, I ask for an explanation. You really have to shut up or else I brake you. His voice and body language are utterly aggressive, he can barely control himself. No, he can't. He presses and swipes his knuckles against my skull. It hurts. I am sure this won't show on the skin, he knows how to inflict pain without leaving marks. Once upstairs, I am somehow relieved as I see several agents going frantically from room to room. They bring in a lady to which I am preventively asked not to talk to. It wasn't him, she says. After being left alone for a moment, an older officer comes in. You are free to leave. The fear turns into anger. I don't want to leave, I want to know what the hell was this about. The woman's bag was snatched by a guy on his bike. He was wearing blue jeans and a white t-shirt, just like you. I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes. I tell him I want to file a complaint against his sadist colleague. It is not my job, you have to go downstairs, by the main entrance. The agent at the reception is evasive, pretending he doesn't understand what happened. What is the exact nature of the alleged misconduct? What is the agent name? Of course, I don't know his name. I am actually terrified at the idea of meeting him again. What if he takes me into custody once more? And anyway, any possible soar will likely be gone by the time I get to see a doctor. Moreover, she is probably still waiting for me, and I would certainly make use of a drink. Better try to make it to that party instead.
I left, but coudn't stop swearing for the rest of the evening.