In memory of Kupa Ilunga Medard Mutombo
For reconnaissance and justice
Against deadly police and state violence
Demonstration on Friday, 06 October 16:30h at Oranienplatz in Berlin
On 14.09.2022 Kupa Ilunga Medard Mutombo was in an assisted living home in Spandau for people who have been made mentally ill. He was to be transferred to a hospital. Three police officers, a doctor and an ambulance were called for the transfer. When Medard opened his door and saw the police, he panicked. The police officers used brutal force against the 64-year-old, throwing him on the floor, restraining him. One pushed a knee into his neck, while another lay on his back and prevented him from breathing. At least 13 other police officers entered the dormitory and did not let anyone into the room. According to one witness, Medard could no longer breathe. Although a doctor and an ambulance were on the scene, the resuscitation took more than 45 minutes.
Medard was transferred to the Vivantes hospital in Spandau and three days later was transferred to the Charité hospital due to a life-threatening deterioration in his health. He was in a coma and died of his injuries three weeks later, on 06.10.2022. His brother, Mutombo Mansamba, contacted the counselling centre ReachOut and publicly drew attention to the fatal police operation.
Medard’s death is not a tragic isolated incident, as many try to claim. Nor is it a pure coincidence that such a seemingly banal mission ended deadly. It must be said here again in all clarity: Without the police, Medard would still be with us today. Why do 13 officers appear for such an operation, who look threatening with their weapons, uniforms and equipment? Why did they have to break down the door, although anyone with even a shred of common sense and empathy knows that violence and threats have no place in dealing with people who have been made mentally ill? There was neither a danger to others nor to themselves. The police officers had the choice to realise that they were simply out of place. They could have sought support, whether from caregivers, friends or relatives. Instead, they actively chose to accept severe and life-threatening injuries for Medard so that their authority would not be undermined.
A year has passed since Medard’s death. The first criminal investigations show that the police and the public prosecutor’s office lack any will to clarify the situation. As in many other cases known to us, protection, a clean record and the certified infallibility of the police and their officers are more important to the state than providing any form of justice.
Deadly and state police violence is systematic in Germany and is trivialised and covered up by those responsible and in many parts of society. This is shown by the following names of people who have been killed by the Berlin police in recent years, in addition to Medard:
2016, Moabit, Hussam Fadl is shot in the back by the police.
2020, Friedrichshain, Maria B. is shot dead by police in her flat.
2022, Schöneweide, the homeless Marcel B. is attacked by the police and dies as a result of the police action.
2023, in April in Königswusterhausen and in July in Friedrichshain, Vitali Novacov and Danny Oswald each die as a result of fatal police action.
In the Berlin-Brandenburg area alone, we know of at least 18 people who have died as a result of fatal police interventions since 2016. This does not include the people who have died in prisons, custody or similar contexts, or the many deaths that occur after or because of deportations. Overall, the number of unreported cases is much higher, because the state does everything it can to cover up these cases. It is mainly thanks to relatives, friends, activists and journalists that we know some names and these numbers at all.
For Kupa Ilunga Medard Mutombo, too, the results of the first investigations were a sheer mockery. Fortunately, Mutombo Mansamba did not let up and managed to get the investigations reopened. Together with him and you, we want to increase the pressure on the public prosecutor’s office, the judiciary and all other responsible persons on 06.10.2023.
So come in large numbers on 06.10.23 at 16:30 to the memorial for the victims of racism and police at Oranienplatz.
Let us remember all the people who can no longer be with us today. Let us make it clear to those responsible that we have not forgotten or forgiven, and that we will continue to fight for justice and clarification. Let us show loud and clear that we cannot, will not and will not simply accept deadly police violence.
For a better and safer future for all.