Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Anti-police brutality protest in Ferrara

Federico Aldrovandi, a boy from Ferrara, was only 18 when he was brutally killed by the local police. He was stopped on his way home by the police and beaten to death with clubs with such force and violence that two clubs were broken. The police showed neither pity nore remorse afterwards.
Seven years later justice has caught up with the perpetrators of this crime: four officers were convicted of Federico Aldrovandi's manslaughter on 25 September 2005.
You would have thought that the police should have learnt the lesson and sympathised with the mother of the murdered boy. You would have thought they would have been ashamed of the brutality of their colleagues and condemn their horrible actions. Sadly that was not the case.
On 27 March 2013 Federico's mother, Patrizia Moretti, has been intimidated by the sit-in protest outside her office windows in Piazza Savonarola. These were the officers from the COISP (Coordinamento per l’Indipendenza Sindacale delle Forze di Polizia) police union. They staged a sit-in protest to show their solidarity with the convicted policemen.
The COISP wanted the four agents (Paolo Forlani, Monica Segatto, Enzo Pontani and Luca Pollastri) to do some sort of the community service rather than a term in jail.

Incidentally despite the fact that the police were convicted, they could still go back to work in the police force after their release because they were convicted of the manslaughter. None of the officers have lost their jobs. And their sentences are ridiculous: from 3 years and 6 months they will only serve 6 months in jail because of the pardon law.

Patrizia Moretti left her office and approached the police with the enlarged photo of her murdered son (she has also been accused of editing the photo). She later said she hoped she would never have to show that image in public again. The protesters turned their backs on the grieving mother, but later moved away.
The ordinary citizens of Ferrara were outraged by the COISP's actions and two days later staged a counter-demonstration to show solidarity with Patrizia Moretti, the mother who lost her son and has been constantly attacked, and condemned the actions of the COISP.

We happened to be in Ferrara at the time, as we spent the Easter break with my husband's parents.
My husband wanted to attend the demonstration, and all four of us were there. According to different sources, there were between 2 to 4 thousand people present. There were speeches, and a big round of applause when Federico's mother appeared. People carried banners and chanted Federico's name.
It was a dignified and moving event.

Bravi, Ferraresi!

To read more about Federico Aldrovandi's case, please visit the Omicidio di Federico Aldrovandi page.

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