Thursday, December 15, 2016

The Berlin Video Story

In the south of Berlin....there's a neighborhood called Neukolln.  It's part of the city, and has subway operations that connect to Berlin.

About two months ago....there's this gal who was "kicked" down a flight of stairs of a subway tunnel. Oddly enough....the cops had cameras and it clearly caught the act.  The guy who kicked the gal?  He just walked away.  She was fairly hurt.

Days went by.  With the video in their'd think that the Berlin cops wanted to get the guy.  It would make sense.....since he caused her injuries.  They weren't really hyped up to go after the guy.

So, someone....fed up with the prosecution speed or the gimmicks of the leadership of the police....fed the video of the act to Bild (national newspaper).  Front page news.

A day later, now the Berlin cops want the guy.

But they also want to prosecute the guy who leaked the camera footage.  Oh yeah.

Yep, they are looking at various angles of how the video got out of their possession and hope that they can find the guy....probably a cop....who dumped the video in the public.

A 20-second video simply showing a guy who tripped up this gal is on the priority list of the Berlin cops now.  Last week, it wasn't a priority.

The girl injured?  Broken arm.

Maybe things like this happen weekly.  Maybe Berlin is a violence-prone thug-zone.  Maybe the subway area is a place to avoid.  But you get this sense that there was some reason that they really didn't want to mess with this case and just let it lay there.  It's been about seven weeks and they likely had the video in their hands within 48 hours after the episode occurred.  Something about this has a bad smell to it.

Note: An added piece in the last hour (from Die Welt), the guy is a Bulgarian with an arrest record (theft, robbery, hooliganism).  He's left Germany (so the story is told).  Why was he in Berlin?  That might be of another story.  


Bruce Twomey said...

For GAWD's sake - isn't there more in a country of 81 million with a 2,000 year-long history than documenting every outside-the-5th-standard-deviation of bad news that you can report on? Take a long breath. Take one of those walks along the Biebrich shoreline of the Rhine River you took earlier this year; take a walk in the Taunus Mountains, buy some Gummi-baerchen, enjoy a few Pez traubenzucker sweets, walk along the Limes near the Saalburg, have a bier in the Mainzer Alt-stadt. But, please, stop being the German Breitbart. I know you're from Alabama. You've been in Germany since the late 70's. All the bad Alabama alt-right stuff should have been bred out of out of you by now. Would really appreciate getting the news that matters on the ground in Deutschland about not. Not to have you channeling Andrew Breitbart :-( That said, I enjoy your style of writing. Just not your obsession with everything that's wrong in a great country. Schoene Gruesse!

R Hammond said...

My downfall is that I have various periods (late 70s, mid-80s, early 90s) that I remember a "different Germany". Biergartens, gummi-baerchen, train trips along the Rhine, and schnitzel for less than 4 DM. Today, I look around, and it's not the same. I sat in 2006 and watched the Bruno-the-bear story unfold, where some good bear flipped over and became some bad bear, and an entire circus of events unfolded in Bavaria with Finn bear-hunters brought in. I've sat and watched brilliant German engineering occur, and then you have the BER project that makes you laugh at the incompetence involved. I look at great German car engineering, then turn to view the whole VW diesel affair as something incredibly stupid. I sat through a great period of the 2006 World Cup here in Germany, but then learn ten years later of bribes to ensure that the games came to Germany. I sit in a village where 20 years ago, cars were never stolen....last year, a dozen upper-end cars were taken (one from a neighbor). I do agree...fifty percent of the stories seen on the internet on Germany don't have factual data or imply something untrue. Crime for example, isn't a refugee (unless you want to count the Koln drug trade) issue. It's various crime syndicates (half relate back to Bulgaria or Romania). You are still safer on the streets of Frankfurt (minus the Taunus Strasse) than on any street in Memphis, day or night. Legalized marijuana came to the US, but it might still be a decade before you see some city or state in Germany legalize it. As much positive as you read daily in German news and business reports, the government's own data shows continuing growth in poverty in Germany. I can applaud investigative journalism at ARD/ZDF, Focus, etc. It still does exist and turn up some interesting pieces. At the same time, I can observe them tripping over themselves in avoiding some story (like the days spent avoiding the Koln New Year's Eve episode), or the effort to copy almost word-for-word some piece out of the New York Times. It took only a week after the US presidential election for ARD to turn and realize that they weren't focused on the German heartland and individual criticism or priorities at the individual now, there's a weekly series where they are talking to regular Germans and showing some insight into this.

Bottom line, I have sadly crossed a line and become awful skeptical (pronounced in Bama as septical, as in septic-tank). There's some Mark Twain-like element in me, that when I'm sitting in a practically new ICE train in July, and it's 35-C outside, and sweat is dripping down my neck at almost 32-C inside with the AC running full blast, I'm noticing things. When I walk through the Frankfurt train station, which I consider a five-star marvel in design and function, and always impressed, I also happen to notice three guys in a tunnel area doing up a heroin batch in full view of folks walking by, it's just something you shake your head over. When I sit and note fake cop stories in Wiesbaden, where some East European guy flashed a 2-Euro fake badge and got some tourist to show his billfold or her purse, and steals a couple hundred Euro, I'm in amazement how often it occurs and the fake cop just walks away. That said, whatever remains, is still worth observing. You can't dissolve 2,000 years of history. And at least the Romans didn't have BER designers/engineers on their staff.