By a commentator for Tjen Folket Media.
Originally published on July 15, 2020.
TV2 has reported on and published a video from a case currently under investigation by the special unit for police cases.
In the video, one can see Qadar Osman Adbi being questioned by police in Kristiansand. He is reported to have begun writing a password on a piece of paper, during which time he changed his mind and crumpled up the paper. Second later, he is seen being attacked by initially one, then three police officers, who not only attempt to retrieve the note, but also put Qadar in a chokehold and force him violently into the ground, all while he protested and asked why he was being attacked.
Qadar tells TV2:
“I could not breathe. He was a large man, and he placed his entire body weight on top of me while he tightened his grip around my throat. I feared for my life.”
Qadar tells TV2 that he does not believe that the special unit will take his case seriously. This is very understandable, given that the special unit is by no means independent, but a part of the police force itself. The special unit also includes officers that have been exonerated for their role in the racist police murder of Obiora in 2006. TFM has also recently reported on a case where the special unit has previously found police officers who have taken lives not guilty.
The leader for the Norwegian Bar Association’s defense team has expressed himself on the case to TV2. He says:
“What characterizes questionings [of this nature] is precisely that they are entirely voluntary from the side of the defendant. It is entirely up the person in question in terms of what they say to the police. When it is being carried out with chokehold, we believe that this is something that needs to be looked into.”
In the same article, an instructor at the police academy was asked about chokeholds and said the following:
“At the Police Academy, we teach first and foremost on the basis of a memo that regulates the use of chokeholds. The situation must be severe before the chokehold can be used. It cannot be used in the context of an arrest, but more in an emergency self-defense situation.”
It is rather clear that this situation was not an emergency self-defense situation, and that this is a very violent aggression from the side of the police.
This case falls into a long line of cases of police violence in Norway. The case has several serious sides. It is a dangerous attack on the security of rights, with the use of violence and force during a “voluntary” questioning in order to force information and punish the victim for changing his mind. It is also an example of dangerous and unnecessary use of violence towards a defenseless person. And it is part of a pattern of racist violence from the police.
In Kristiansand, an initiative has been taken to host a demonstration against police brutality and racism on Friday, July 17 at Øvre Torv at 1700.
The organizers write the following in the event description, where they point out similarities with other police brutality cases, including other racist incidents. They also mention similarities between this case and the struggles being waged in the US:
“On Friday, July 17, we stand together against police brutality and racism. There will be speeches and slogans. Meet up at Øvre Torv at 1700 and join us in showing resistance!
Qadar Osman Abdi was questioned at the police station in Kristiansand when they asked him for his password to his Snapchat account. He was in the process of writing down the password on a piece of paper, but changed his mind. When he crumpled up the piece of paper, one of the police officers jumped on top of him, held him in a chokehold, and slammed him into the ground. All while Qadar remained calm.
Excessive use of force and police brutality from the police in Kristiansand is nothing new. In November 2016, they shot and killed a father who drove away from them during a car chase. In August 2018, Agder police shot a man in the legs when he threw pillows on their boat. In November of last year, demonstrators who crossed a fence were brutally struck with batons after the police had forced them onto the ground.
Norwegian police physically attacking people and putting them in chokeholds without provocation is nothing new either. In 2006, a Norwegian police officer strangled and killed Eugene Ejike Obiora, a Nigerian man, outside the NAV officer in Trondheim. Obiora did not resist in that case either. The officer who killed him was found not guilty, as usual. Both of these cases are shockingly similar to what is happening today in the US and what has been going on for a long time.
It is high time that we stand up to racism and police brutality. Join us in a demonstration to show that you have had enough as well!”
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