Mario Placanica is the Italian police officer who shot and killed Carlo Giuliani on the 20th of July Of 2001 during a riot in the town of Genova due to the G-8 summit.

We have heard a lot about this incident and very few people have stopped to find out who it was that killed the young boy.To be slightly subjective here, it seems like we are a bit too eager to condemn the authority and glorify the victim. This is his declaration to the court about the happenings of that day. I could only find this in a Spanish newspaper so the translation is mine.

"My team and me had been dispatched in the early morning. We had been on duty from around 6.30. (…) By dusk we were in an area of the city that had suffered violent confrontations, during the course of which an armoured car of the Carabinieri had been burnt. During the course of the conflicts, I personally shot tear gas, for that reason I was assigned specifically to that task now. For the records, I need to give testimony to that fact that the entire squad was moving on foot followed by two defender; that is, two landrovers, in which the officers were travelling.

Due to the tear gas, after numerous shots, I had inhaled a lot and my mask was unable to protect me any longer, I felt my eyes and my face burning. For this reason at a given point I went to the defender and asked for help. I got in the car. I felt bad and I vomited. The vehicle was driven by {a Carabinieri called} Cavatio.

Soon afterwards, the squad suffered and attack by a large group of protestors, whose advance was quelled. We had been following the squad from he car. The situation calmed and the members of the squad, to breathe some fresh air, removed their gas masks. At this moment, I was alone in the car with only the driver and another colleague whose name I do not remember, and, who like me, had had problems with the tear gas.

The protesters again advanced and the carabinere charged to stop them. But the counter-charge was in vain, they were pushed back by the protestors. The confusion was tremendous and the driver tried to reverse but on all sides was surrounded by civilians who had broken the line of defence. We could not manoeuvre because a full trashcan had been pushed over and blocked our way. If it had been empty we would have been able to get past that obstacle. During this time my colleague and me were terrified, because the protestors had started throwing big, more like enormous, stones.

The glass of the vehicle, both the back and side had already been smashed to pieces thanks to the stones. I started to scream to the driver to get us out of there, that they were killing us. To tell the truth, we were surrounded by protestors, at the time it looked like hundreds. .
At that moment I saw my colleague was having problems and I thought I should defend him. I grabbed him by the back and tried to lay him down on the floor of the jeep. I was kicking because one of the civilians was pulling my leg that, from the outside, they had managed to grab and were trying to pull me out of the car. They also threw heavy objects inside, and though I did know what it was, something metallic and extremely heavy hit me. {The attorney made a note of the fact that the policeman has a swollen and injured knee}. While we were kneeling and trying to defend ourselves from the attacks I have describe, they carried on throwing large stones at the car. My friend was hit and injured beneath his eye, on his cheekbone. Now, each second more terrified, I shouted at the driver to move, that I couldn’t take anymore. After this a big white stone with cutting edges hit me in the head. This stone was not being thrown, but was wielded by a civilian and it hit me two more times in the head, wounding me. When I saw the blood and my injured friend, I put my hand to my gun, which was by my hip, but I made sure that the safety was on.

At the same time I threatened the protestors that they should stop or I would shoot. In the confusion, and trying to defend myself – I remembered later -, I inadvertently removed the safety catch with my hand. The stones continued to rain down and I felt that my hand gripped and from my gun two shots were fired. After the two shots the stones continued. No one shouted or said anything about the possibility I had hit somebody."

Sources: EL Pais Online –

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