Germany: Govt. pledges 'zero-tolerance' for racism in police force as probe cancelled

On Monday, the German government defended the police force racial profiling policies, just a day after the Interior Ministry announced it would cancel a planned investigation into the matter. Speaking at the Government Press Conference in Berlin, government spokesperson Steffen Seibert claimed that, «We [the government] reject a general suspicion of people because of their skin colour, because of their ethnic heritage. This is not allowed to occur in in the police work in Germany. This is not permitted and it would contradict the order of law, which is enforced by our police every day.» Interior Ministry spokesperson Steve Alter said that his ministry is aware of «single cases» where racial profiling occurred, but gave assurance that there exists «a zero-tolerance strategy [where] there will be consequences up to and including removing people with racist or extreme ideologies from public services.» Along with the acknowledgement, Alter added that this ministry is of a «different opinion» about the presence of structural problems within the police force. The proposed study came amid global discussions about racial equity and police brutality, following a wave of unrest sparked by the killing of George Floyd and several other unarmed black Americans in the United States. Siebert also expressed concerns «that a great number of fellow defendants of Peter Steudtner have received long prison sentences.» Steudtner was acquitted of terror charges by a court in Istanbul on Thursday, but some of his Amnesty International colleagues were sentenced on Thursday to between one and six years prison. Spokesperson for Foreign Ministry Maria Adebahr, said there were currently «61 German nationals imprisoned in Turkey,» who have been accused of «drug offences, assault and similar offences.» «We know of 65 German nationals that cannot leave Turkey due to a ban on leaving the country,» she added. On the topic of the Polish elections, Alter said that, «the federal government does not influence the presidential election of our Polish neighbours.» The statement comes after Polish President Andrzej Duda accused German-owned Polish tabloid Fakt of election meddling. Fakt has denied the allegations.

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