Aeryn’s Police Complaint


This is a complaint that Aeryn filed against

the Police in Vienna, January 13, 2003.

MMMag. Äryn MJ Gillern
Webster University
13th January 2003
Bundes Ministerium fuer Inneres
Postfach 100
1014 Wien
zH Herrn Innen Minister
Dear Sir:
I am writing this letter as a formal complaint against the officers of the precinct at Stephansplatz, 1010 Vienna. The following is a deposition of events which took place between myself and the officers at Stephansplatz on Saturday the 11th of January, 2003.
After reading the events, I would hope that you would also be outraged by the conduct. My mother, having been a cop for almost 20 years, I am well aware of the rules of conduct for police officers.
Though I can do nothing but ask that you investigate this incident, I do assure you that I can not let it pass by as a non-event. Many rules of conduct were broken: such as entering my house, not trying to communicate with me in a language that I could fully understand, handcuffing me without charging me with a crime or reading me my rights, forcefully taking my bag with my purpose, and finally by assaulting me for no reason. There is a never a reason that a police officer should touch another person, unless that person is being unruly or resisting arrest.
Luckily I have a witness to corroborate these events, and I am prepared to go as far as needed until: such officers and events are investigated, said officers are held accountable for their lack of professional behavior and the staining of police ethics, and some reform goes into the actions of
police officers.
The following letter is being sent to you, and the authorities at my university, as I want to document how foreign students are being treated.
As well, if there is no reply within two weeks, a letter will be sent to the
StaatsAnwaltsSchaft and Amnesty International.
Finally, I would like my back-pack, with full contents mailed to Webster
University, Vienna, 1220 Vienna.
I hope to receive a reply to these allegations, as well as a copy of a written complaint report within the next two weeks.
Respectfully,MMMag. Äryn MJ Gillern
Deposition: The following is a account of events taken place on and around
Stephansplatz, the police station of Stephansplatz and my apartment, on Saturday the 11th of January, 2003.
MMMag. Äryn MJ Gillern
Vor Aaron M. Jackson
Name Changed legally in August 2001, United Stated of American, Ithaca, NY, 14850
Saturday 11th, January, 2003:
After a brief walk through Stadtpark, I realized that I would be late for the 18:00 English Mass at St. Stephans Cathedral. So, I went to Stubentor and catch the U3 to Stephansplatz. Upon entering the station I heard the subway coming and I ran to it, forgetting to stamp my 4 part, strip card in the meter. Forthright, I admit that I forgot to stamp my ticket. I understand that there is a penalty for that of ?62.--, which I would have paid, had I had the money on me.
Along with my getting on the U3 subway, a ticket controller also entered, and asked for my ticket. I realized that I had not stamped mine, and told him that I forgot. We had reached Stephansplatz and got off the subway. I told the controller again that I had forgotten, and again showed him my strip card. May I add that a women was also taken off of the subway, who had
no ticket at all, yet, she was let go. The controller told me to pay the fine, I told him that I had no money, and no ID on me, I was going to a locale, and had but a few Euros on my person.
Better judgment told me to just walk away, but, I waited for the controller to finish with the women near me. The controller then grabbed me by the arm and said we were going to the police. I falsely thought that it would end this problem and that we could rationally figure things out. As I said, it was not like I didn't even have a ticket, and I thought they would understand that I forgot. I was quite upset with the controller grabbing me by the arm as he did, and
I in my anger called him a "Prolaet". However, again, this does not excuse his actions nor the actions to follow later..
Upon entering the police station, the officer asked for ID or money, neither of which I had. My first mistake in the station was not to call a lawyer, my second mistake was in not calling the embassy or consulate, and my second was giving them two names. As I have written above, I previously used Jackson, for 23 years, and just recently legally had it changed to
Gillern, which is my mothers maiden name. Being confused and under pressure I could not remember whether I was registered under Jackson or Gillern, and remembering getting into many hassles in Austria over the name change before. After checking for Jackson, I told him Gillern, but the officer in charge, something Mueller, just looked at me and grinned and said I was lying to him.
However, I am getting get beyond myself. We, the controller and myself, are in the station, and they start to write up a report. Well, they are trying to check the name, but they won't speak to me in English nor High German but a Vienna dialect. I admit that my German is quite good, but I only understand High German, when it is spoken slowly and not too complex. May I
add that they never once spoke in English to me, and mocked me because I did not speak perfect German with them.
After about 30 minutes of waiting and trying to handle this, I see the head officer and ask to speak with him privately, hoping to clear things up. I tell him how I forgot the ticket. I can pay the fine if an officer can walk with me to a locale and I can ask a friend of mine. I don't have any
numbers on me, so I can't call anyone to come to me. Mueller asks me what I am doing in Austria, I tell him that I have finished my studies and may be going back home to live in the US; I finished my classes in December. He accuses me of lying to him about my name and suggests that perhaps I am a criminal and living in Austria illegally. He asks where I have gone to school I told him Webster University and that I lived in Gaming, Lower Austria for a few years while I was in the Seminary, studying Theology. He asks me how I am surviving, I tell him that I work at the University. May I add that when the cops come to my flat later, they checked my passport and gave me a hassle because I didn't't have a work permit. May I add that I can work as a student at my university without a work permit. Mueller, tells me, after phoning a lawyer, that they are going to arrest me, because I don't have ID on me, because that is what they do in America. Because in America, a foreigner always has to carry ID on his person, or they arrest
him and send him home. Again, I am guess this is what is said. He only spoke to me in broken German. As we are about to leave the top floor, a police officer recognizes me, as the person who stopped a thief on the U3 near Landstrasse, who stole a wallet from a woman at Stephansplatz, and went back to bring it to her, when the rest of the subway sat and did nothing. The women's name was Mrs. Barbara Kilzer, I have the address if you want to contact her to validate this. He also made the comment that he remembered something about me being
gay. At that point I saw everyone in the room, four officers, turn and look and smirk. I then decided it was not a good situation, and that I needed to get out of there.
At about 19:00 I say that I can call a friend, who knows a friend who may have money to pay the fine. May I add that the controller is gone, because I have been put under arrest. My crime? It has not been told to me, as of yet, at least in a way that I can understand, and certainly, no rights have been given to me. I call a friend Sigrid, a student from my class, the only number I can remember and she gives me a number for a friend who is a few minutes away and can bring me money for the fine. I call Bryan, my witness, who arrives and is also able to confirm most of the events, and he comes. In the mean time, I am told that I will be strip-searched and to go in the
back room behind the front counter and remove my clothing. I refuse, as there is no warrant to it, and there are also people in the back room. I tell him that I can empty out my pockets and my book-bag on the counter. He agrees. But, he asks me what I am afraid of, and I tell him that I am not sure what will happen when I go with him in the back room. That perhaps he
would hit me or something. He says that he won't have to, unless he thinks that perhaps I have a weapon, and then smiles at me. Going back to that room, was not what I was going to do.
I empty the contents of the bag: some cough drops, weight lifting gloves, a pair of underwear, light blue gym shorts, 1 liter apple juice, protein drink shaker þ full with strawberry flavored soy protein drink powder, pair of black Entirely cotton gloves, a few candy bars, and a plastic container of moist travel napkins. In my pockets I have a few cough drops, exactly 1.86 in change, a book by Christopher Rice, and a paper book-mark. My friend Bryan shows up and is ready to pay the money for the fine, and then the police officer, Mueller, hassles him and asks him if he is registered and why he is in Austria and if he has a passport. Then he says
that no, Bryan won't pay the fine, and says that we will go to my flat and get my passport. May I add that I agreed to do this before, and also agreed to pay the fine before, but was hassled. May I add that when I told him where I lived before he said that he thought that I lived in Gaming, and that I was living in Vienna for three years illegally. Mueller made no attempt to cooperate with me or speak intelligibly with me, neither did any of the other officers there. They did nothing but hassle and demean me, and then Bryan when he arrived. Mueller calls up someone to bring a car to the station so that we can go to my flat. Here is where the line is really stepped over. The officers that come in, two a male and female, who refused to give there names, and who had not names on there uniforms that I could see, nor my friend Bryan could see;
they are to bring me to my flat. I say ok, we will go to my flat, I was unsure of the exact street name, as I just moved a month ago, and only take the subway there, my mail still
comes to Webster University. I gave them the directions. Then, out of no where, the male officer of the two that just arrive, grabs my bag and I refuse to give it to him, until he tells me why. He pushes me and pulls at my bag, provoking me, but I do not give in. I keep asking him why and he simply says, in broken German "Because I said so". My question for asking
was because I was not about to come back to the station to retrieve the bag, not after this, and why couldn't I take it with me, back to my flat? He then tells me to give him the keys, and I give them to my friend Bryan, because I want him to come with me, as I will not go alone with the
officers. He tells Bryan to give him the keys and says that I will go alone. I tell Bryan how to get to my flat, and tell him to meet me there,
but to wait until we leave. Then, out of nowhere the officer who took my bag, takes out a pair of
handcuffs and handcuffs me. There are now four officers around me, one in front of me who has my hand squeezed with my fingers forced in and he almost breaks them, so I pull them out of his hand. He is pulling me forward so I can't even put my hand behind my back. A second one of side pulling my hand back and a third pulling my other arm, and then as they handcuff me, the
officer in front of me pulls my coat collar so that my face smacks the desk counter and I feel as if either my teeth or my nose will break. And then, as I stand up, the officer in front of me punches me in the right side of the lower chest, near my kidneys. The punch was hard, and it hurt and it gave me a jolt. May I add that I was already handcuffed. May I also add that when
I and Bryan asked for the officers name and why he did that, he just grinned and went in the back room near his office, not to be seen again. I was led out of the station, and Bryan went to the subway. I was led into the cop-car, at which time, because my handcuffs where so tight, and my wrists were turned inside, my shoulder came out of its socket, which was
very painful. I had to bang it against the back of the seat to remedy it. The officers refused to un-tighten the handcuffs. We arrived at my flat around 20:15, and I had to show them where it was, they were upset with me that I did not know the exact address. They asked if anyone was in the flat, I said no. They entered my apartment near this time, all three officers and did not take the handcuffs off of me, although they knew I needed my hands to get what I needed.
When we entered my flat, the first thing they noticed was a male calendar that I had on my wall, they looked at each other and snickered, and said something like "tuna". I was not exactly sure where the passport was, and I had to open a drawer with my foot, and then another I had to bend on my knees and open backwards because my hands were behind my back. They refused
to help me, even though I told them where the stuff was. While I was bent pulling the drawer open, I was threatened with a can of mace or pepper spray, I did not see the exact contents. However, my mother has been a police officer in the New York for almost 20 years, I recognized it as being a spray repellant. I gave them both of my passports as they wanted to document home long I had been there and what I was doing etc., and they again hassled me about my name, both changed and hyphenated. I waited for them for 30 minutes until they wrote everything down, from both passports, both my old and new one, and I had to sit on the heater edge, in my room, still handcuffed. At around 21:00 the female officer took off the handcuffs, which had eaten into my wrists, and then I told them to leave my house immediately.
At present my bag is still at the station, as I afraid to go pick it up, yet
I still need its contents.
MMMag. Äryn MJ GillernWitness:
Bryan P. Weigle, BABoth Signed copies are in my possession.