Eric Garner in Berlin

one thousand words

A few days ago, I was telling an Italian friend of mine who lives in Berlin about the recent countless cases of police brutality in New York City and in the US as a whole. I was telling him about the disrespect, the violence, and the arrogance usually shown by police officers toward the general population, and the outright brutality visited upon some particular sections of it; think, for instance, of the Stop-and-Frisk Law, especially targeting young black and Latino men in New York.

He was astonished. He said that these kinds of things would never happen in Berlin. Indeed, to begin with, in Berlin police officers are rather discrete: their uniforms, their cars (grey and blue and hardly distinguishable from all other cars), their manners. They don’t represent that show of force we are used to in cities like New York. I myself witnessed a few encounters between the…

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