Russian police were present but did not intervene in the fight that ended with the fatal stabbing of a Gabonese graduate student this summer, according to a video published by local media on Monday.
François Ndjelassili, 32, an economics student at Ural Federal University, was killed outside of a Burger King restaurant in Russia’s fourth-largest city Yekaterinburg on Aug. 18.
Two traffic police officers, identified in media reports as inspectors Gennady Izergin and Ivan Oleynikov, can be seen sitting in their car and watching the fight that led to Ndjelassili’s murder.
The footage published by the local E1.ru news outlet, which said it obtained the clip from an anonymous reader, could not be independently verified.
In the approximately three-minute, profanity-laden video, one officer can be seen pointing out that a fight is occurring, and then getting annoyed with a bus for blocking his view.
When the other officer says they should intervene, the original speaker replies “there’s no need to break anything up” and “it’s not our problem.”
Later in the video, one of the officers seems surprised by the presence of Africans, saying “And there are black people there. Black people! These are black people.”
“Help, there’s blood everywhere,” one of them says near the end of the video, mocking a bystander’s attempts to get their attention.
The officers ultimately drive toward the fight, with one of them expressing concern that they will be punished if they do not intervene. They finally get out of the car, too late to help.
After a bystander asks the officers to call an ambulance, one retorts: “Can’t you dial 03 by yourself?”
Initial reports citing Ndjelassili’s friends said two men approached him in the restaurant, called him racial slurs and then stabbed him. Other reports said Ndjelassili was flirting with a Russian woman and a fight broke out between him and the men accompanying her, one of whom, Daniil Fomin, ultimately killed him.
Fomin claims he was acting in self-defense, but possible neo-Nazi connections have led to speculation that the murder was racially motivated.
Izergin and Oleynikov have been suspended from duty and are under internal investigation. They also face criminal charges of abuse of power, with a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison.