Never Say Sorry

As far as I can tell, no Romanian leader has ever apologized for anything.

No matter how bad the scandal, the failure, the corruption, the number of deaths, the abuse… Romanian politicians never apologize, ever.

Even Nicolai Ceausescu, on the day before he was shot like a dog by Ionel Boieru against a wall in Targoviste, never once apologized for anything.

So it didn’t surprise me in the least when I saw this.

My translation:

The Interior Minister, Marcel Vela, said that he will not apologize for the police operation in Brasov.

This even despite the fact that one of his fellow PNL members (albeit, a lower-ranking politician) called for an investigation into the actions of the police.

The event in question went like this:

Just before 7:00 in the morning, at least four masked police officers stormed into a house in Brasov. Inside was an unarmed woman and her two little kids, all three of whom had been sleeping. Apparently, one of the masked thugs was wearing a bodycam, so some of the event was recorded.

Here is a partial transcript. Please note that it begins after the cops have already entered the foyer of the house.

My translation:

Police: Police! Is anyone home? Get up!
Woman: Children!
Police: Where is the man?
Woman: Please! I know my rights.
Police: This is how we do things.
Woman: Please! If you shoot me, I know my rights.
Police: Yeah, yeah, calm down. Who else is home?
Police: Good morning.
Child: Good morning.
Police: Who else is in here with you?

(The child points to the family dog)

Police: Move those hangers [in the closet].
Police: Good morning. Who else is in the house with you?
Girl: My mother.
Police: Anyone else?
Girl: (unintelligible).
Police: Calm down! There’s no problem.

Woman: You can’t do this! You can’t come here and… I don’t even know how you got in here.
Girl: What’s going on?
Police: We have a warrant, which you know very well.
Woman: You should’ve rung the doorbell, I’m telling you. You’re coming in here and making a big scandal at 7 o’clock in the morning.
Police: No one is making a scandal.

Police: Enough! Get over yourself because nothing’s going on here. Everything is okay. Hey, get down!
Police: We’re going to show you the search warrant. Is the man at home?
Woman: Bebe? Who is Bebe?

And that’s all that’s been published, unfortunately.

In the last line, the police asked where the man (barbat) is, and the woman evidently heard “Bebe” instead.

I don’t blame her for being confused.

Let’s Review

The prosecutor’s office wanted to arrest a man, so they drew up a search warrant for his house. But they used an old address for him for the warrant despite the fact that the man hasn’t lived there for years.

Currently, a woman and her two young children live there, having bought the house (and thus their information is in the government’s computers), and they have zero connection with the man in question.

Instead of ringing the doorbell and asking to come inside, four or five masked men burst into the apartment at the crack of dawn, waking up and scaring the shit out of everyone. At one point, the woman even says, “Don’t shoot me.”

The police did have a legal search warrant (for the address in question), but at no point do they show it to the woman. In fact, one cop has to say “We’ll go get it and show it to you,” to her.

The cops eventually leave, and the woman calls someone, and sooner or later, the Brasov county PNL politician (unnamed in media reports) makes a stink about it, so the news media gots involved, and that’s the public found out about it.

Confronted by journalists, the Interior Minister (which oversees all police departments in Romania) then says, “I’m not going to apologize because the police went to the right address on the search warrant.”

Keep in mind that he’s been a minister for about three months and isn’t likely to last another three. So it isn’t like he’s got much political capital to lose if he did apologize.

Same Song, Different Verse

I’ve been saying this since at least 2013, that it is utterly unfathomable to me why the police in Romania need to wear facemasks to disguise their identities. I mean, what’s the point of even wearing a uniform then?

Surely, it can’t be because of a fear of retribution. In the last 30 years, a grand total of one police officer in Romania has been killed, and that was an unmasked officer shot in broad daylight by a guy he was struggling with. Other than that, nothing.

Prosecutors in Romania don’t wear masks. Judges in Romania don’t wear masks. So why is it okay for police officers to wear masks?

And yeah, I get the fact that they went to the right address on the warrant even if it was the wrong address for the suspect. But what, exactly, is the point of being a police officer if it isn’t to protect and serve the community?

That goes double for completely innocent people who were scared out of their wits at 7:00 in the morning. The responsibility for putting the wrong address on the warrant wasn’t the police’s fault, but it is their fault that they scared a woman and her young kids.

Would it really fucking kill them to apologize for that?

And lastly, if you’re going to execute a search warrant, the law states very clearly that you need to present it to the occupants of a house before coming inside. That means that one of the masked thugs entering this woman’s house should’ve had it on him. The fact that he didn’t even bother to bring it speaks volumes.

I don’t really know how many times I have to say this. Ceausescu may be dead, but not a goddamned thing has changed.

Wake up, Romania!

3 thoughts on “Never Say Sorry

  1. Your “opinions” are ridiculous. My advice would be to talk things you know personally, maybe that way you won’t be so full of shit.
    Bullshit number one: the interior minister does NOT control all the police, only the national force. The local police is controlled by mayors.
    Bullshit number two: It’s not “Nicolai Ceausescu”, because it’s not russian. The correct name is Nicolae Ceausescu.
    Bullshit number three: The woman wasn’t “confused”, she heard the name really well. Bebe is a common male name. (
    Bullshit number four: It’s not the police that got the address wrong, it’s the prosecutor’s job and he needs to say sorry for this mistake.
    Bullshit number five: The warrant was not for searching, it was an arrest warrant. Usually when police receive an arrest warrant for a potential dangerous individual, they don’t ring politely at the doorbell, they storm his hideout.
    Bullshit number six: The news was NOT made public by a politician.
    Bullshit number seven: The equivalent of the SWAT force needs to wear facemasks because they have to keep anonymity when they are dealing with dangerous and violent individuals. There used to be cases where members of the criminal’s entourage got hold of the officer’s identity and threaten them or their family.

    For your personal information, in the last 15 years a total number of 36 police officers lost their lives on duty, not just one. Get your facts straight!

    Maybe you should talk about how things are being done in the great nation of Transnarnia, the country that exists only for soviet lunatics. How things are being handled by the militia/KGB there, surely the soviets are more human rights oriented. And while you’re at it, maybe change your name to Sam Cel Nistrean, because you don’t know such many things about Romania, after all. Maybe learn some more about that stretch of land 30 kilometers wide would serve you better.


    1. I don’t often agree with Sam (I don’t fully agree with him now) but on this he is mostly right.
      First of all, the masked police is part of the national police so they are under the ministry’s authority. The local police (former “gardienii publici”) have mostly attributions regarding keeping order in public places (and they do a lousy job at that).
      Secondly, regardless what kind of warrant it was, they should have had it with them.
      Third, the law allows use of force only if the person in question does not comply. So you need to give him first a chance to comply.
      Forth, the police may not have issued the warrant, but the evidence of the people’s home addresses are kept by them. And they conduct the investigation of all potential criminals. So…
      And lastly, though not a legal issue, the ministry’s answer was defiant and inappropriate. He was still a member of the Government who screwed this up so at the very least he has a responsibility as part of that collective. There were hundreds of ways in which he could have elegantly dodge the bullet.


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