A case of racial profiling overseas? Mike Brennan thinks so. The American teacher working in Austria says he was targeted and beaten by two undercover cops because he is Black.
On the day of the incident, Brennan says the officers “came out of nowhere” while he was in a subway station with his girlfriend, and started beating him without even telling him who they were. According to the Associated Press, the cops thought Brennan, who teaches physical education and English as a second language at the Vienna International School, was a drug dealer. Brennan’s lawyer, Alexander Hofmann said the officers took off when they realized they were attacking the wrong man.
Brennan, a Jacksonville, Fla., native, who has lived in Austria for four years, is now considering filing a lawsuit against the police for assault. He remains in the hospital recovering from his injuries which include back, neck and hand sprains, bruises and swelling.
“I don’t want this to happen to anyone else – I hope justice is served,” Brennan said while being interviewed from his hospital bed. He also told the AP that he could see “hatred” in the eyes of his attackers.
Vienna Police spoke out publicly on Monday, admitting to the mix-up and promising to investigate why the officers used “physical force.” Police say the drug dealer they were after looked “almost identical” to Brennan, was on the same subway car he was on, and got off at the same stop. The suspect was arrested soon after the beating incident.