A Story Of An Arrest

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The name of the author is known by the editorial group

Monday May 23 at around 22.45. The Danish Red Cross Centre Avnstrup.

Around 30 people are in the computer room on the ground floor. I am sitting at one of the computers, watching TV on the Internet.

A while earlier, around 4 o’clock, a Kurdish man came to the reception. A member of staff asked how he could help him. The man asked the member of staff to phone the police because he had mental problems and wanted to be taken away from the asylum centre.

Around five o’clock the police arrive and tell him that he must sleep in his room and that they cannot take him with them because he has not committed a criminal act. A short while later the same Kurdish man turns up at the reception again; he now has a knife. He threatens the staff and asks them why they have not phoned the police and why they are not doing their job. Another Kurdish man takes the knife from the man. The staff phones the police again.

Four police cars arrive. They put the Kurd in handcuffs, take him to another room, hit him and pepper spray his face. Then they put him in a patrol car. One of the officers returns to the reception with a dog. All the people present in the room are watching calmly. The police officer then begins walking towards the exit. A person to the left of me says: “Fuck the Danish police,” and the officer immediately looks at me. He leaves the room and returns together with one more officer. They have brought the dog with them. The officer with the dog stands at the other end of the room. The other one approaches me and says, in an aggressive way: “What are you doing? You have no respect for Danish police. Come on. Come on.” He pushes me four times, and I fall to the floor and land on my back. I try to get up, but the other officer releases the dog. It bites me in my back. I am half-standing and yell several times: “Stop, it hurts, I can’t…” both in Danish, German and English. I grab the officer by his wrist and try to open the dog’s mouth with my other hand. It bites my fingers. Then one of the police officers takes the dog away, and then they take me to the patrol car. They press my head against the car, place my hands on my back and put me in handcuffs. “Excuse me, what have I done wrong?” I ask. The officers move three or four meters away, then they come back and press me against the car. One of the officers opens the patrol car’s door and pushes me into the back seat. After a short while another man, who is from Afghanistan, is put in the back seat of another car. We then drive away.

After around 200 meters we stop at a parking lot. The officers get out of the car and talk about what they are going to do. “What are we going to say to the station?” asks one of the officers. The other officer answers: “One of them has a knife – we’ll bring him along. The other one hit me with his head – we’ll bring him along as well.” Another person approaches me with a torchlight and looks at my back. He gets angry. Then all the cars drive towards Roskilde Police Station.

While we are driving, I ask: “What have I done wrong – maybe you’ve misunderstood something?” The officer in the passenger seat in front of me turns around and bangs my head against the car window. I say: “Maybe we’ve misunderstood one another – I don’t have a conflict with the police.”
“Now you have a conflict,” the officer says and bangs my head against the car window again. He goes on: “Why don’t you go back to your own countries.” He bangs my head against the car window once again, and his nail inflicts a wound on the side of my nose. He praises the dog, who is sitting at the back of the car. “Freddie has done well today.”

We then arrive at the police station. They take me inside and press me down on the floor. The officers pull up my sweater and take photographs of my back, where the wound from the dog bite is clearly visible. I am thrown into a detention cell. After 45 minutes four officers and a man in civilian clothes enter the cell. The man in civilian clothes is a doctor. He examines my back. “It looks okay,” he says. The officers take off my shirt and take photographs of my back. I am allowed to go to the toilet, where I can wash my wounds with hot warm water and toilet tissue. I spend the night in the cell.

The next day an officer comes into the cell and tells me that an interpreter will join us. Around eleven o’clock I am taken to an office together with the interpreter and the officer. I tell my story to them.
“We have a charge against you. You hit an officer with your head,” says the police officer. I answer: “How can I hit an officer with my head when I am sitting at a computer?” He asks me more questions about what happened. I ask why they do not simply take a look at the CCTV tape, and I tell the interpreter: “I don’t feel like talking to that bastard.” The officer says: “OK, then I’ll just finish the report.” He prints it out and asks me to sign. I ask if I can have a copy of the report, but that is not possible, so I do not sign. I am taken back to the cell. After three quarters of an hour, at 13.45, they give me back my things, and I can leave.

After almost six months I am still waiting for the case to be decided. It is not my fault that I am here. I am a decent human being.