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.)


  1. BlueJay

    Wow. That’s pretty sad. Of course take all the time you need to make sure she’s taken care of, and give her our best.

    I feel like this might be the entirely wrong thing to say, (certainly won’t help her think of something else,) but is there nothing you can do to get justice? Can you not complain to some authority higher up, or take it to court? (No judge or jury would fine Verena based on the testimony of a “witness” who couldn’t prove they were there, surely. Right? Surely not.)

    I realize that the last thing you both want is more trouble and legal charades, and you’d probably rather just be done with the whole situation, but it’s just wrong that the police would treat you like that, and I can’t help thinking there has to be something you can do to right that wrong. What’s the point of having a police force and government to “protect the innocent” if the innocent end up being the victims?

  2. That’s all kinds of messed up. I hope you’ll both feel better soon.

    As for that idiot of a policeman, is there a way to complain to his superiors (as BlueJay also suggests)? Because guesswork should never be part of police procedure. Other than that, perhaps there’s an ombudsman-like institution you can go to?

  3. And people think my country has it hard. If that idiot taxi driver tried this in the US, he’d be the laughing stock of the 6:00 news.

    We live in a fucked-up world, but it always amazes me just how fucked-up it actually is. I can wait for any game updates, I wish I could do something to right this horrible injustice (I have a bit of a hang-up with honor and justice, it often gets me in trouble though :V) but it’s hard to fight the police.

    Speaking of the police, in my area, they’re a bunch of lazy sons of bitches. Calling them for any reason and giving them an address within a 5-mile radius usually results in them trying to find excuses not to do their damn job so I have a rather low opinion of police officers already. :V

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