On February 5th, Kweisi Mfume, President & CEO, National Association for the
Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) urged the
U.S. Ambassador to Spain to file a formal complaint with the
government of Spain in protest of the recent beating of a
black musician by the Spanish police in Barcelona.
Mfume said:"We are outraged that so far, no formal action
has been taken against the police officers involved in the
brutal beating of Rodney Mack. This is racial profiling at its
worst. To offer a lame apology for mistaking Mack for a car
thief after viciously beating him is not enough. Mr. Mack is a
U.S. citizen whose civil rights were clearly violated and who
deserves our full support and protection under the law. I am
calling on the State Department and U.S. Ambassador to
Spain, George Argyros, to request the police officers involved
in this act of brutality are brought to justice immediately."
Several weeks ago in Barcelona, Mack, 34, the principal
trumpet player for the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, was
attacked in an underground parking garage by four police
officers who were on a stake out for a car thief police
described as"black and roughly Mack's height."Mack was
leaving rehearsal and says the undercover officers did not
identify themselves. Although Mack, who is featured on
Barcelona posters promoting the symphony, said he showed
his identification and trumpets in his car, he was charged for
resisting arrest and attacking a police officer.
Mack was so badly beaten, he was taken to a local hospital,
then taken to police headquarters where he endured five
hours of questioning and was then returned to the hospital.
Mack, who sustained bruises and cuts over most of his body,
including his inner lip, has been unable to perform as a result
of the beating.
An unidentified Spanish police official in Barcelona admitted
"a misunderstanding,"but said that Mack fit the
"characteristics"of skin color and height to a car thief who
has been stealing cars in the garage where Mack was
beaten. While the Spanish government has promised an
investigation into the case, the police officers involved
remain on full duty, but the department's car thief stakeouts
have been suspended.
Mfume said he would contact the State Department
immediately and"will not relent in my position until fully
satisfied that a full investigation of the facts is underway."
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