Case Closed: Police Not Responsible for Death of ‘Czech George Floyd’

According to an expert opinion the police was not responsible for the death of a Romani man who collapsed on the pavement shortly after police restrained him by kneeling on his neck and died in an ambulance shortly after.

The conclusion is that the man died of a heavy overdose. The incident happened in the town of Pardubice in June of last year.

The man, named locally as Stanislav Tomáš, died in an ambulance shortly after being arrested on 19 June. Footage of the arrest shows police officers pinning Tomáš to the ground, with one officer kneeling at various times on the man’s neck and back.

Czechs compared his death to that of George Floyd, who died in 2020 after police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for several minutes during his arrest.

Eyewitnesses said Tomáš was arrested after attempting to stop a car being vandalised, but the Czech police and authorities have rejected this narrative.

In a statement, police said that an initial autopsy had “ruled out a connection with the operation that preceded the arrest of the suspect”, and said a doctor had reported that a drug overdose was the preliminary cause of death. They added: “According to a preliminary autopsy report, the man was suspected of being affected by a foreign substance of the amphetamine family, and autopsy revealed pathological changes in the coronary arteries.”

The regional police spokesman, Daniel Vítek, said the police received a complaint regarding two men fighting and damaging cars on Dubská street in Teplice.

“After the police arrived, we found an injured man without his shirt. When the police came close, he was aggressive; he scratched and bit them … The police had to use coercive measures before calling the ambulance, where he died despite resuscitation efforts … The doctor present at the scene said the cause of death was most likely due to intoxication.”

The police later tweeted a video titled “No Czech Floyd …” to show what had preceded their intervention. The footage shows two shirtless figures running around the street, shouting and punching cars.

Jonathan Lee from the European Roma Rights Centre believes Tomáš’s death is emblematic of the discrimination of Roma in the Czech Republic and Europe. “Police violence is the most common and visible human rights abuse Roma face across all of Europe,” he said.

“Whether it is lack of training, negligence or wilful discrimination, Czech authorities should be held accountable after an impartial investigation is

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