Boy Killed by Police in Italy

Just Another Police Killing?

On September 24th, 2005, Federico Aldrovandi, an 18-years-old boy, died in the hands of the police in Ferrara, Italy. The police denies and says Federico died from a drugs overdose, but the news has started spreading thanks to his family's blog. This could seem an ordinary story, but it is just another sign of the brutal attitude of Italian police forces against anyone who does not correspond to their standards of normality, be it immigrants, dissidents or just young people walking alone at night.

This is a story of an Italian boy of 18, of a life broken by the police, a story which at first sight could seem normal, that is.
Indeed, it is a really normal story, a story which has already become a cliche. Many have heard of or directly experienced the brutality of Italian police in Genoa, but in Italy police is not only brutal at political demonstrations: its feats have ancient roots in the fascist regime and continue in everyday life, with wilder and wilder beatings of civilians and most of all of immigrants. This is why we want to tell this story: because we think that cases like this (but also like this, a recent cruel beating of an immigrant by police forces) are symbols of the neofascist regime Italy is more and more turning into.

In the early morning of September 24th, 2005, Federico Aldrovandi, an 18-years-old boy, died in the hands of the police in Ferrara, Italy.
They left him for five hours on the ground, initially hiding the truth to his mother, who had called them to inquire about him. The police version reports phone calls from people of the neighbourhood, alarmed by the odd behaviour of the boy, who allegedly fainted when arrested.
Nobody can say what actually happened. The police deny every responsibility for his death, maintaining that he hurt himself and died due to drugs overdose. According to toxicological exams, overdose cannot possibly have been the reason for Federico Aldrovandi's death, and the plaintiffs' experts' report proved that Federico died of postural asphyxia: he had been actually handcuffed and forced on his stomach and at least one person had exerted pressure on his back.
Details as described by medical referees, which have recently been made official after four months waiting, mention numerous signs of violence over his whole body, a bruised laceration on his head, violet coloured stripes by handcuffs on his wrists, and his scrotum smashed, but they differ from the plaintiffs' experts' report, since they identify morphine amongst the causes of Federico's death (even if morphine couldn't possibly induce in him such a violent behaviour as reported by the police).
The news remained unknown for months. Only recently has the silence been broken by a blog opened by the boy's family, who is asking that light be thrown on the event. Wishing to react to the attempts to hide the truth, Federico's mother, who received her son's clothes literally soaked with blood, has published her son's photo shot after the beating, a photo which is very harsh and revealing.

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profiling at its lowest

Kevin Ballie 05.Mar.2006 21:18

The report on this account of police brutality has left me with an entirely new perspective on official abuses all over the world. In New York City, my home, many neighborhoods are overly policed (you can usually tell which ones by the color of the neighborhood and the financial security present), leading to unusually high levels of incarceration of minorities. In American media, we have seen the problem presented as minorities simply being more prone to criminal acts than whites. Hardly the case, in fact more minorities are in jail ONLY BECAUSE it is the minority neighborhoods who are policed as if they are some sort of open prison. I believe that a correlation exists between overly policing and police brutality, since the policeman who police the area in question feel that they are in a "bad" neighborhood, and thus can do whatever they want to make it better. My heartfelt sympathies go out to the family of this teen, and I sincerely pray that justice will be served. I cannot imagine at all how it must feel not only to lose a loved one, but to be lied to about it. Nothing can replace or fill their loss, but I hope that the police department opts eventually (sooner rather than later) for a full and transparent investigation, where those guilty will be dealt with, and that changes are made so that this type of tragedy does not happen. The power of loss is one of the most important powers for change that mankind has ever seen. God Bless this family, and may they all endure.

March 15

CopWatch 06.Mar.2006 01:51

March 15 is the International Day against Police Brutality (IDAPB). In Denver, Colorado we will be holding a demonstration/march on March 11, at 1:00pm. We will meet at 16th Street Mall and Arapahoe (Skyline Park), and we invite human rights activists around the world to join us in solidarity. Police brutality is a global/local problem (local in terms of legality, global in that it happens everywhere) and this coming IDAPB is a good opportunity for the world's communities to unite against this disgraceful trend of governments turning their attention elsewhere while police commit vicious crimes with impunity!


police brutality

henry 08.Mar.2006 12:33

Italy is hardly the first country to come to mind when it comes to police brutality. How about Brazil? Street children being eliminated by off duty police? Thousand of kids have been killed by police in Brazil over the last decade. Fortunately, the PT is a step towards fixing this.