A few days ago Ousman Sey died in police custody in Dortmund. Ousman had called a doctor before, but was arrested instead. The police denies racist motivation - we doubt it! There will be a demonstration on friday in Dortmund.
In the morning of the 7th July 2012 Ousman Sey, a 45 year old of Gambian origin, died in police custody in Dortmund. Before being taken into police custody, Sey called an ambulance twice, because he was not feeling well. After approaching at his flat for the first time, the paramedics diagnosed palpitations but expressed that there was no need for him to be taken to hospital. When calling an ambulance for the second time half an hour later, according to his brother, he was suffering from convulsions. Allegedly he started "vandalizing" his own flat. Therefore police forces arrived at Ousman Seys flat simultaneously with the paramedics. They attested for the second time, that there was no need for Sey to be taken to hospital and that an examination by the police physician in custody would be enough. This happened, even though a nurse living in the same house, tried to convince the police and paramedics that Ousman Sey neads to be taken to hospital immediately.
After arriving in police custody, Ousman Sey collapsed and died of breathing arrest short time later in a hospital, according to statements of the authorities. Relatives and friends of Sey uttered the suspicion in a local newspaper that the police and the paramedics did not render assistance due to racist motives.
As expected, the heads of Dortmund police department and of the ambulance and fire department, Norbert Wesseler and Dirk Aschenbrenner, directly repudiated those allegations - without any further investigation. Racism would neither have a place in an ambulance of the fire department nor in the police, and racism by no means would have any influence on the action of paramedics and police forces.
We doubt that!
Until now it is unclear, whether the wrongdoing of police and paramedics is a case of not rendering assistance due to racist motives - or "only" due to a dangerous incompetence. This has to be investigated.
The statements, there was no racism in police and fire department are more than clearly wrong and show a defensive demeanor, that lets a consequent investigation seem unlikely. German police officers act racist on a daily basis. The everyday practice of so called "racial profiling" regularly puts black people in the focus of police controls. This way black people in Germany experience a recurring institutional discrimination. Furthermore, the case of Oury Jalloh who died in police custody in Dessau in 2005 is a well known example for the deadly racism of German police authorities. Police violence, that gives room for suspicions of a racist background is nothing new in Dortmund as well: 2006 Dominique Koumadio was shot multiple times by a police officer from a distance of a few meters, because he was carrying a knife. According to the police, this happend in self-defence.
There is racism in the fire department and among paramedics as well as in all parts of society. The predecessor of head of fire department Aschenbrenner lost his job as chief of the local "Institute for Firefighter- and Rescue-Technology" over the discovery of his contacts to Dortmunds militant neonazis-scene.
Racism is not only a phenomenon of the far right or amongst "uneducated" people! Racism is anchored in the "middle of society" and determines the action of public authorities way to often!
We demand a fully legal investigation of the wrongdoing of police and paramedics, although this seems unlikely given the institutional racism among those authorities!
Furthermore, we ask:
How can a man, obviously needing medical aid, be taken into police custody in hand-cuffs?
- Why did the paramedics not take Ousman Sey to a hospital, despite the obvious signs of severe health problems?
- How can police and local press pathologize Ousman Sey as a ?vandal? and offender?
- Would chief of police Norbert Wesseler also be taken into police custody when he had contacted an ambulance for the second time because of having palpitations? Would he calmly remain seated if he were in fear of death and denied medical aid?
Dortmunder Antifa-Bündnis, Transnationales Aktionsbündnis
We also want to advert to a call for donations to cover the costs for the lawyer, the family of Ousman Sey mandated to investigate the circumstances of his death:
Please transfer the money to the following bank account:
Reason for transfer: Ousman Sey
Account owner: Gambianischer Integrationshilfeverein e.V.
Account number: 0131019165
Bank code (BLZ) 44050199