“We don’t want such an official in Berlin”: Interior Secretary condemns police action on Syrian family

The Senate condemned the actions of a police officer “in the strongest possible terms”. The police are apparently preparing a service ban.

Berlin’s Secretary of State for the Interior, Torsten Akmann (SPD), described the behavior of a civil servant in a Syrian family as “absolutely unacceptable” and condemned it “strongly” on behalf of the Senate. “We don’t want such a police officer in Berlin,” Akmann said on Monday in the Interior Committee of the House of Representatives.The Tagesspiegel app Current news, background information and analyzes directly on your smartphone. Plus the digital newspaper. Download here for free.

“We are fully investigating this incident,” said the State Secretary. Both criminal and disciplinary law investigations are being carried out. This is also checked with the other officers involved in the operation.

According to information from the Tagesspiegel, the police are seriously considering banning official Jörg K. from exercising his duties. If he were fully paid, he would then not be able to work for three months. As a rule, such a ban is imposed when a civil servant is about to be removed from the service.

Another reason for a ban must be that otherwise the service would be significantly impaired. The patrol officer was transferred to the radio center of Directorate 3 after the incident a week and a half ago.

The video of the operation published by those affected “shows very clearly that the operations officer is making xenophobic comments towards the Syrian family and is acting in a xenophobic manner, ” said Akmann. All police officers are obliged to respect and protect human dignity. “This is the highest value of our constitutional state. That was not satisfied here, on the contrary, it was massively violated,” said Akmann.

The police themselves have also distanced themselves from the behavior. Many police officers were embarrassed by the incident, Akmann said. This is another reason why he rejected statements by left-wing politicians and Nazi comparisons. “It annoys me when voices are raised that question the police as a whole,” said Akmann. “I find it unbearable, especially to draw a comparison with one of the darkest chapters in German history.” The Secretary of State expressly placed himself in front of the police. “The Senate stands by its police,” said Akmann. The authority is and will remain “an indispensable guarantor of internal security in our city and an indispensable part of our state.”

The left-wing politician Ferat Kocak had attested to the police “a Nazi problem”, left-wing interior expert Niklas Schrader “structural racism”. The Syrian couple called for a police officer to be fired. When asked by the Greens, police chief Barbara Slowik agreed to consider contacting the family if there was clarity after the investigation was completed. “We first have to clarify this comprehensively,” said Slowik. She did not want to comment on the details because of the ongoing proceedings. Because of the ongoing investigations, the police do not want to “put themselves in direct contact with the family”.

The police union (GdP) also condemned the behavior of the officer. “There is no question that words were used that do not fit the communication of a citizen-friendly police force,” said GdP spokesman Benjamin Jendro. “In the sequence, which of course does not depict the entire operation, there are insulting, discriminatory and xenophobic statements that are not acceptable and from which we clearly distance ourselves.” But it is also important that the case is classified objectively. “We’re talking about one of thousands of operations a day and the words of one of 26,000 colleagues in the Berlin police who are now being accused of structural racism again,” said Jendro.

Officer Jörg K. is said to have insulted the man and his 28-year-old wife in a xenophobic manner, as the police put it. The officials came to the family last Friday with an enforceable arrest warrant because the man had failed to pay a fine of 750 euros for driving three times without a ticket.

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