Misinterpreted parallels

An alleged similar event is compared to a case of racially motivated violence without sufficient proof

Roma George Floyd? A man died in Teplice after police intervention. Police refuse their fault, saying drugs caused the death

 In the Roma community, a video from Teplice, where a man died after police intervention, is being spread on social media. Some are comparing his death to the death of George Floyd [1]. Similarly, in Teplice, one of the police officers sat on his throat for several minutes. [2] The man died in an ambulance later that day. According to police, the man died due to a drug overdose, not because of the police intervention.

In a video circulating on social media, we see three policemen immobilizing a resisting man. One was holding his legs, the other kneeling on his throat for several minutes. The third policeman is helping to handcuff the resisting man.

Some Roma people standing around are commenting on the intervention. „He is suffocating him,“ a woman’s voice is saying. „It’s their job,“ another man is replying. Another Roma man is saying, „Lie down, do not resist,“ to the immobilized Roma man.

According to the spokesman of Emergency service Prokop Voleník, a fight between two drug addicts was happening.

“Romský George Floyd? Muž zemřel v Teplicích po zásahu policie. Ta odmítá, že za smrt může policejní zákrok, příčinou byly prý drogy.” Romea.cz, 21 Mar. 2022, http://www.romea.cz/cz/zpravodajstvi/domaci/romsky-george-floyd-mlady-muz-zemrel-po-zasahu-policie-v-teplicich.ta-odmita-ze-za-smrt-muze-policejni-zakrok-pricinou-pry

[1] Verified information about the death of George Floyd are available here https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/31/us/george-floyd-investigation.html.

[2] Vague and not sourced enough claim. The connection to George Floyd trivializes police brutality G. Floyd was facing.


[3] The lead paragraph of the article itself says that the man died in the ambulance later that day.


The text also concludes that the young Roma man was killed during police intervention against him. This argument stands solely on a video circulating on social media and is published shortly after the event. Later it was proven that it was not the policeman’s direct fault.

Later it was proven by a coronial autopsy that the death was not caused by the police intervention. The man collapsed in an ambulance called by the police officer and his vital functions could not be restored due to the influence of drugs. The article points towards suffocating the man while the policeman was immobilizing him[3], which is inaccurate even according to the video mentioned.

However, we must consider that this article is a quick reaction written by people emotionally engaged in this topic, as mentioned in the section introducing the server. Similarly, our aim is not to disprove the case, but to bring to attention the problems of comparison with George Floyd, which although understandable in the given moment, is still problematic. The case itself turned out to be quite complicated, as ombudsman later concluded, and the police officers did not follow the protocol strictly. Romea.cz itself later published another article with more specific and better sourced information.

The comparison with the death of George Floyd, which was proven to be caused by a policeman, harms the case by using incorrect information. The connection lies solely in both men being members of minority groups while using appeal to emotions with the chosen vocabulary.

Roma minority faces discrimination in the Czech Republic; therefore, it is easy to believe that police commit violence based on the man’s ethnicity. However, linking it with the death of George Floyd based purely on emotions is harmful to the fight for racial and ethnic equality in the end. While George Floyd was undoubtedly a victim of racist violence, the connection with this case from the Czech Republic casts doubt on both his case and generally the issue of racism in the eyes of many Czech people.

This article shows that information with a logical and plausible base, such as the Roma community being discriminated against and often subjected to police misconduct in the Czech Republic, may not be true, however convincing it may sound. With added emotional dimension and the connection with George Floyd, this and similar articles were massively shared in the Czech Republic, later realizing that the investigation and autopsy proved contrary. This might possibly lead to the loss of credibility of stories of police brutality coming from the Roma community.


Romea.cz news is a project of Czech NGO Romea dealing with the topic of the Roma minority in the Czech Republic. Therefore it provides information for and about the Roma community while being led by Roma people. The aim is to raise awareness about issues the Roma community deals with. The server has existed since 2003 and has, on average, 2500 visitors per day due to the specificity of the site.

The aim of Romea.cz is therefore not to bring neutral information and is not a mainstream media, but a very specific source of information run by people who are both physically and emotionally engaged in a given topic.


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