Protecting the Innocent

The re-launch of The Sea Will Claim Everything will be delayed to Monday. Why? Well, the police.

As you may know, about a week ago Verena was hit by a car. She was cycling to work and a taxi driver, who didn’t look where he was going, took a left turn to the road she was crossing and hit her. It was green for both of them, because that’s how the traffic lights are set up there. Ironically, Verena was even gracious enough to say that though it was a mistake on the taxi driver’s part, it was a relatively simple one to make.

Verena, of course, ended up in the hospital with stitches in her face, scrapes all over her body and a fractured upper jaw.

And now Verena is being accused of being at fault for this. Apparently an “eye witness” came forward to say she was crossing in the red, though that eye witness has no proof she was there and rather conveniently only called the police two hours after the accident. Mhm. Right. To add to the bitterness of it all, Verena never ever crosses a red light, even in the middle of the night when the streets are empty. Even on foot. I used to make fun of her for that, but she believed that you have to follow the traffic laws.

As for the kind, helpful police officers who are supposed to protect the innocent – they are convinced Verena is at fault, because “they’ve been doing this job for a long time and they know their stuff”, i.e. because cyclists are always at fault, no matter the logic or evidence. So as a thank you for getting hit by a careless driver, Verena may also get a fine and lose her driver’s license. Because the facial scars aren’t enough. Thank you, taxi driver. Thank you, police officers. Thank you, Germany. It’s a pleasure being here.

Naturally, Verena is extremely depressed at being treated like this, so taking care of her has to take priority for me. The accident was bad enough, but having a condescending police officer look down his nose at you and treat you as a born criminal has turned this into something that is (naturally) very hard to deal with for her. I’ll do my best to cheer her up and make her think about something else, but it’s hard living in a world where everything is set against you just because you commited the crime of following the rules.

(Edited to add: You know, the really fun part is that the so-called witness who supposedly was on her side of the road never stopped to see if she was OK. So we’re supposed to believe there was someone who saw everything that happened, didn’t stop, but then decided hours later to contact the police because of their strong sense of civic duty? And of course we can’t be given the information of the other witnesses, who were on the other side of the road and didn’t see anything about traffic lights, but who might be able to point out that there was no other cyclist on her side of the road who could’ve seen something.)