Mittwoch, 21. Juli 2010

The difference between fiction and reality - truth and the press

The difference between fiction and reality is: fiction has to make sense.

On the 12th of September 2009 Dominik Brunner died after being beaten for about one minute by two 17 and 18 year old youths on a city rail platform near Munich.

That´s a fact.

Beforehand, in the train, he had stopped the youth´s in their attempt to extort 15 € from a group of four other youths ages 15-16.

That´s a fact as well.

After his death, Dominik Brunner has been hailed as a hero for his moral courage and yes, for his death while defending four children, by the German press.

That is a fact also. He got the Bundesverdienstkreuz posthumus. There is a foundation in his name.
In the two boys, who killed him, where without any doubt, murderers.

On July 14th the court hearing started.  Accusation: Murder with base motives. They´re said to have killed the victim as revenge for his earlier defence of the group of youths.

Both boys, the elder of whom is officially not able to testify because of physical reasons and psychological trauma, admitted to beating Dominic Brunner, but denied emphatically to have wished for his death.

The younger of the two, who is not even 5'7 and weights around 100 pounds, testified that Brunner got out of the city rail car two doors down. Dropped his bag and jacket and then rushed towards them and hit his friend square in the face. They defended and his friend went into a blind rage.

Headlines in German Newspapers: Killers blame victim.

Two days later, the authopsie paper cleared up the cause of death: Dominik Brunner had a heart condition and due to his agitated state of mind, had a heart attack. He didn´t have any broken bones, or a broken skull, as it was originally stated by police.

Which goes conform with several witness accounts, that state, the victim stood after the attack and then fell again.

The prosecuter´s office keeps up the murder charges.

Headlines in German Newspapers: That changes nothing!

Somewhere in between a young French native witness (16), and her 13 year old brother, detail how she heard "I will kill you" from one of the defendants, but then is not even able to tell, what the word "blindlings" meant (in blind Rage), that appears in her police statement. The questioning was conducted without a translater. A police officer, who had French in school assisted. His French is said to be not very good.

Another witness, a minor as well and his friend, who had claimed to have seen it all and then performed CPR, were shown to have lied. Nobody performed CPR until the EMTs arrived.
Another Witness was discredited by his OWN MOTHER after he gave his statement to police as a pathological liar.

On July 20th, the driver of the city rail  train states, he clearly saw, while checking before starting the train again, how the group of four youths and Dominic Brunner left the train, and two doors farther back, the defendants left the train. The defendants headed for the exit. He didn´t see any sign of trouble, until Dominic Brunner dropped his bag, his jacket, walked up to the two youths, dancing in front of them with boxing moves, taunting them and then hit one of them square in the face. Blood flowed.
Then he yelled "And now we will get the police" which the driver took for a sign, the situation was cleared, since the attacker himself had stated to want to get the police.

He started the train, but notified the station master, to call the police.
A testimony, that is backed by one of the  originally threatened youths, two further witnesses and corresponds with the defendant´s statements.
(to those, not from Germany - German Railway and City Rail Routes are really as good as their reputation and run on a very tight schedule)

Except one German news magazine, that brought a rather interesting article about witnesses, and their unreliability, German Newspapers stayed silent.

The defendants are still murderers to the news magazines and the general public and Dominic Brunner still is a morally couragous hero.

What strikes me now as so wondrous, is the simple fact, what if Dominik Brunner had been a 17year old with a totally broken family, a drug problem, living in a city run youth home, and the two boys had been managers from a wealthy family?

Who is the attacker then?

Is Dominic Brunner still couragous? Yes.
But he also might still have attacked two boys, one of whom is a head smaller than him, without them threatening him in that situation.

Did the boys still kill him? Yes, most likely their actions killed him.
Though... if they didn´t start the fight, and Dominic Brunner did not die of those injuries he sustained, but of a heart condition he had.....
Who is responsible for the heart attack?

And why - and THAT is the question, the German press should be asking - where none of those facts given,  right after the attack, although the prosecuter´s office clearly knew about them two days after?
Why did the prosecuter´s office hand out a version to the public, where Dominic Brunner is a shining hero without any flaw, that was attacked from behing and two sides by blood thirsty monsters, both taller and stronger than him, who murdered him in cold blood.

One of the defendants, who confirmed to be a habitual drinker, said he had two beers and a few glasses of vodka before the attack. But all police say, is, he didn´t appear to be drunk.
Habitual drinker, guys.  Why hasn´t there been a blood test?

During the trial, one of the Police officers was asked, if he saw any injuries on the face of the defendant who was alledgedly beaten by Brunner. His answer? I don´t know, he looked down all the time.
Both young men have very short hair.

There are some serious questions, the German press should be asking right now. About premediated convictions made by the public, clearly spurned on by the prosecuters.
About their own role. Their missing critizism.
About justice.
About flawed heros.
About prejudices and truth.

Yes, Dominik Brunner still died on that platform, after aiding a group of four teenagers. And those two youths still beat him.

Yes, Dominik Brunner was a succesful manager and lawyer from a very wealthy family.
And those youths are still flawed failures of society.

But other than that?
Reality doesn´t have to make sense.

Truth is a very fascinating  construction.

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