My name is Nikola Palokova, I am 24 years old, White and from the Czech Republic.
My ex was a mixed-race lad.
During our relationship, we always had issues (gambling, trust issues, etc). So, we tended to argue quite a bit at times. One year, on New Years' eve, we went out and returned back home intoxicated. He wasn’t much of a drinker so he was fine, drunkish but fine. I was quite drunk. We started arguing at home and things got slightly physical (I pushed him, he pushed me) – not actual violence. He has never EVER laid a hand on me or anything like that. After one slight push, I fell over on the floor and hit my head slightly at which point I decided to leave the flat and my neighbors who heard everything told me to go to their flat, and so I did.
Before I went to their flat, they had already called the police which I wasn’t happy about because nothing much happened. Anyway, the police arrived, looked at us, didn’t ask ANY questions whatsoever about what happened, and went to arrest Michael. They grabbed him, arrested him and put him in the back of their car when I was telling them not to because nothing happened and I didn’t call the police. Michael is very visibly not white and I cannot help but believe that their swift reactions were due to this fact and assumptions.
They took him to the station and 2 male police officers stayed in the apartment with me. They started taking a statement from me. Now, bear in mind it was about 3 am, I was very intoxicated, scared and I had just banged my head slightly. I was in no state to give a statement to these police officers.
They were asking LEADING and MANIPULATIVE questions such as “How much did he hurt you?”, “Tell us how hard he pushed you on the floor”, “ Tell us how much your head is hurting from when he pushed you”. They were asking very personal questions about our relationship: what caused the argument, etc.I was drunk, scared, in pain and I had 2 authority figures above me showering me with statements and questions. They twisted my words incredibly.
They kept Michael in a cell overnight and only interviewed him in the AFTERNOON OF THE NEXT DAY. They said they couldn’t take a statement from him the night before because he was intoxicated and had to sleep it off. Michael was not a big drinker and definitely wasn’t anywhere near as drunk as I was. So, they had to wait overnight to interview him but they could take a statement from me at 3 am whilst completely out of my mind, putting words into my mouth?!?!?!
Where’s the equality??? Different races different rules? Different gender different rules?
I didn’t press any charges whatsoever but we were given a court date and I didn’t agree with the statement that I gave them. I felt like they twisted my mind and words and I wanted to give a new statement without anyone interfering.
They’ve put a restraining order in place so Michael can’t contact me or come near me until the court date. Again, I did not request this and I was fighting against it. There was nothing I could do.
When I was giving a new statement, the police officers tried to persuade me not to do it and were saying things like, “We know he’s manipulated you into this, you don’t have to do this to protect him. He needs to get what he deserves”.
Again, I said nothing happened and he’s not manipulated me into giving a new statement! I explained that I felt I was manipulated by the police and that I don’t think they should have taken a statement from me when I was so drunk. It was very clear that they just wanted Michael to be prosecuted no matter what. Now, I do understand that manipulation happens and the police must try their best to protect the victim, however, it was so so so incredibly obvious what they were doing.
At the court, there were 5 judges and only one of them was black. I spoke to my attorney and again, had to explain that I didn’t press any charges, changed my statement, that he did not in fact assault me, and it was an accident. The attorney wouldn’t even listen to me and still tried to win the case against my will.
In the court, they used the original statement that the police took at 3 am. The court was extremely stressful and to add to the ‘severity’, the witnesses requested a barrier to be put in between them and Michael so he can’t see them. They treated him like he was some sort of a murderer!!!!
Michael was found not guilty of assault. HOWEVER, the judges came up with a new charge out of nowhere!! The new charge now was CONTROLLING AND MANIPULATIVE BEHAVIOUR?????? Where has all this come from and why wasn’t I aware of this??? This new charge was made literally in the middle of the proceeding!!!
They just wanted him done for something and anything!!! After countless tears and arguments at the court, he was found not guilty of this as well.
Now, I was there that night and I was at the court – this was racial. It was clear from the moment they arrived at our flat. I truly believe that things would have gone differently if my ex wasn’t a man of colour.