Culture & Society Czech Republic News Politics & International

Czech Republic: Romani man’s death not linked to police intervention, according to autopsy

teplice-romani-death-czech-republic

Prague, Czech Republic – The Romani man who died on Saturday in Teplice after being arrested by Czech police officers died of drug abuse, according to police spokesman Daniel Vitek.

Autopsy points towards drug overdose

The autopsy ruled out any connection between the man’s death and the intervention of the police, according to M. Vitek. The results of the tests instead point to a possible drug overdose, he said.

“No ‘Czech Floyd'”, wrote the Czech police on Twitter. Local authorities insisted the court autopsy showed that the intervention “has no connection with the death” and that the behaviour of the police officers was carried out “in according with the law”.

On Saturday, a Romani man was arrested in the Czech city of Teplice. Amateur footage show a police officer kneeling on his neck for several minutes. The man, believed to have been under the influence of narcotics at the time, is seen struggling and shouting.

He later died in the ambulance called to the scene.

“Roma lives matter”, remind Czech activists

Shocked by the video, many activists quickly pointed to “obvious parallels” between what happened in Teplice and the violent arrest and death of George Floyd in the U.S. last year.

Police spokesman Daniel Vitek said the police officers were called to the scene amid reports of a scuffle between two men. They were reportedly damaging cars in the street. One of them “became aggressive” as soon as the police officers arrived, and even bit one of them, according to M. Vitek.

On Twitter, Czech Interior Minister Jan Hamacek expressed his full support to the intervening police officers. Despite the latest developments, some voices are still questioning the version of events described by the authorities.

“Roma lives matter”, the Romea news site wrote, posting pictures of people who came to light candles and leave flowers on the site of the incident to bid farewell to the deceased.

Headed by Kafkadesk's chief-editor Jules Eisenchteter, our Prague office gathers over half a dozen reporters, editors and contributors, as well as our social media team. It covers everything Czech and Slovak-related, and oversees operations from our other Central European desks in Krakow and Budapest.