ROLES OF THE DEPARTMENT OF STATE
U.S. uses the arrest of a Marine from the Sixth Fleet to brand as racist police
Washington last summer warned their citizens of the risks facing African-American tourists to travel to Spain
The cables associated with this information will be available from 13.00]
An incident between agents of the Guardia Urbana of Barcelona and several crew members of the Mount Whitney , flagship of the U.S. Sixth Fleet , in early 2009 caused a serious diplomatic incident between the governments of Madrid and Washington. In addition, the State Department last summer used this argument to alert African tourists to travel to Spain were at risk of arrest. Barcelona City Council now says that its officials were carrying out against the drug retail and scoffed at the accusations of racism.
The Navy has threatened not to saturate more in Barcelona after the incident .- The City opened a report to the agents and found no irregularities
After the altercation with the staff of the U.S. Navy, the Executive of Barack Obama made a verbal complaint by the attack in February 2009 by a Marine and the fact that several partners were identified at gunpoint. The U.S. Consulate General in Barcelona warned then that the Sixth Fleet had said that after that incident, was "reluctant" to re-anchor in the Catalan port.
The case erupted on January 22, 2009, when a crew member of the Mount Whitney was approached by plainclothes guards urban "is not properly identified" and, moreover, pointed guns at other students. During his detention, the sailor was knocked to the ground, he needed several stitches in his head. He was arrested and later released without the agents submit charges against him. "It seemed that the incident was racially motivated (the crew is African American)," points out a confidential note from the embassy.
"The plainclothes officers were conducting surveillance work at the plaza of the Drassanes in crime prevention to public health. They detected a conversation between
George Thomas Kee and two youths of North African origin, and suspected a possible drug transaction for money, it came to be identified, "says Hall.
"An agent is accredited by the professional credential, but Mr. Kee began to gesture angrily, trying to leave the area. The agent tried to take her arm. As he approached a corporal, Mr. Kee hit him in the neck and punched the police. He approached a group of 15 or 20 people in a hostile manner and shouting in English. (...). When she did not stop the group move forward, drew his gun out and pointed toward the ground, making that the group will stop and begin to recede, "the municipal report.
Kee was taken to hospital Pere Camps and out and a guard went to the city as Mutua Universal "by injuries of varying degrees." Kee said the police station in Ciutat Vella had no intention of attacking players, but thought they were going to steal, as in America, "the police identified the suspects in one hand showing their professional credentials and the other gun identified regulatory pointing. " After he was arrested "for assault on law enforcement officers" in Les Corts station, where he was visited by a consular representative, two links of the Spanish Navy and two from the U.S. Navy. Court number 20 of Barcelona declared shortly after the filing of the proceedings. The internal file opened by the local police concluded without finding irregularities in the conduct of agents, despite some mistakes in assessing their performance.
The embassy said the "gravity" of the matter and "the potential negative effects that could result if the Spanish Government did not take appropriate action." The embassy sent the foreign minister a "verbal complaint" demanding an explanation of the altercation (190 015 cable).
Two weeks later, the Consul General met with Todd Robinson Councillor for Safety and Mobility, Assumpta Escarp, along with the mayor of the Guardia Urbana. The consul complained that an immediate consultation with the chief commander of Mount Whitney or the consulate would have quickly resolved the situation and avoided creating a "spiral out of control and subsequent reactions in Barcelona, Madrid, Naples and Washington" (cable 190,628). Municipal representatives undertook to clarify the case with the head of the Sixth Fleet in Naples (Italy) and the base of Rota (Spain).
After a few days, the consul wrote to the then President of the Generalitat, José Montilla, the Mayor of Barcelona, Jordi Hereu, and the director of the Guardia Urbana, Xavier Vilaro. In turn, contacted the Office of Human and Civil Rights. The Embassy in Madrid and the chairman of the Standing Committee of the bilateral cooperation in defense matters raised their discomfort with the Spanish authorities. And Chargé sent a complaint to the Secretary General for Defence Policy.
"After all these complaints, the only response received was a letter Vilaro, who lamented the" problems "arising from the incident and stated that the case was the subject of an internal investigation, according to a cable. The consul in Barcelona again met with several representatives of the City and conveyed to the Sixth Fleet was reluctant to re-anchor in Barcelona and that the case had attracted the attention at the highest level of the Department of State. The diplomat stressed that the U.S. Government demanded "assurances that U.S. ships would be welcome to the city."
Alarm back and forth on the web
The incident between urban guards and crew of Mount Whitney aroused considerable unease in the U.S. Government. That, despite the legal advice of the Rota base informed the Consulate General that the judge had decided to close the case against "Mr. Kee", which was informed that there would be signed with a history in Spain and at the same time, you could lodge a complaint against Barcelona police. "Endpoint? No.
The incident was forgotten for the United States. Last August, the State Department Web warned its citizens to travel to Europe on "racial prejudice" of the Spanish police, who allegedly stopped and questioned blacks "for no apparent reason." To illustrate this claim, stated that two officials from that country had been arrested in Barcelona "for no apparent reason." One of the detainees, which was not the least data, had suffered "physical injury."
To spread the news and know the subsequent protest by the National Police with such accusations, the U.S. Government withdrew such warnings the day before the first lady, Michelle Obama, came to a hotel in Marbella (Málaga) to spend four days vacation with his daughter Sasha.
The Spanish Foreign Ministry, headed at that time by Miguel Angel Moratinos, downplay the issue saying that the White House had decided to remove the warning about "racism" of the police unilaterally and without any "no mediation" by the Spanish government.
U.S. uses the arrest of a Marine from the Sixth Fleet to label the police as racist York Times