Following “unabated critical reporting”, Hamburg’s public prosecutor’s office reopened some investigations into assaults on police officers. However, a racist from Baden-Württemberg has yet gone unpunished after disciplinary investigations.
A police officer from Baden-Württemberg who attracted attention as particularly brutal at the 2017 G20 summit in Hamburg has not yet been punished by the police. This was stated by a spokesperson from the Göppingen police headquarters “Einsatz” when asked by “nd”. According to the spokesperson, a disciplinary investigation has been ongoing for two and a half years against the officer from the Evidence Recovery and Arrest Unit (BFE), but so far without any consequences. An end to this investigation is “currently not foreseeable”.
The lack of action is astonishing, as even within his unit the officer is known for his inhumane behaviour and racist attitude. At the G20 summit, the police officer also used excessive force “and took a liking to it”, according to the Hamburg public prosecutor’s office. It wanted to charge a beating orgy against young activists playing music on 8 July 2017, during which the Göppingen unit broke the fibula of an educator with a baton and destroyed the group’s music system. However, the court did not have enough evidence for a trial. The proceedings for assault in office were therefore discontinued at the end of November – not least because the accused refused to testify and his superior allegedly could not recognise the accused from videos of the evidence.
Another case with the same accusation is currently still awaiting trial, with the court considering whether to admit the charges since September. This concerns a police baton attack at the Bismarck Monument on 7 July 2017, in which a man was injured by three police officers. It would be the first trial against officers deployed at the G20 summit – if the judges actually want to hear the case.
The case at the Bismarck Monument was rolled up again retrospectively, as senior public prosecutor Liddy Oechtering announced a fortnight ago. The Hamburg Public Prosecutor General, Jörg Fröhlich, had all files of discontinued proceedings re-examined with an order from summer 2018 – due to “unabated critical reporting” on police impunity in the media at the time. This review had revealed indications that the three officers, aged between 35 and 46, would now be brought to court after all for the attack at the Bismarck Monument.
According to Oechtering, a police officer who allegedly beat up a G20 demonstrator with a baton on the Schulterblatt was also being investigated again. Another case was dropped after a fine was paid. A further case was to be discontinued due to minor offences, but the accused has since died. In two cases, investigations are still being resumed by order of the Public Prosecutor General’s Office.
Of the 157 discontinued investigations against police officers, 151 have not been reopened, Oechtering announced. The use of force by the police at the G20 summit in Hamburg was therefore “justified in the vast majority of cases”, concluded the senior public prosecutor.
In the case of the beating police officers from Göppingen, the Hamburg police now want to forward chat messages seized, in which the main accused officer “grossly glorified unspecified acts of violence during the G20 summit”, to his superiors in Göppingen. They could then be used there for the disciplinary investigation.
The Hamburg public prosecutor’s office had identified two other BFE officers from Baden-Württemberg as perpetrators, but these also refused to testify. They do not have to fear any internal police measures: According to the Ministry of the Interior in the federal state, there is only a disciplinary investigation against the brutal police officer, as confirmed to “nd”. The other officers accused will therefore go unpunished.
Published in German in „nd“.