According to State Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU), the extent of right-wing extremist chat groups in the North Rhine-Westphalian state police cannot yet be foreseen.
So far, 30 police officers have been suspended, 14 of them with the aim of removing them from the service. “What I saw yesterday has an abomination that I would not have thought possible,” said Reul in the NRW state parliament on Thursday afternoon. “We are talking about the worst right-wing extremist, racist, anti-refugee agitation.”
In addition to the police officers who have already been suspended, there is suspicion of another person involved who works in the affected Mülheim police office. “We will work on that – radically and down to the smallest detail,” said Reul in the state parliament. “Extremists have absolutely no place in the North Rhine-Westphalian police.”
On Thursday morning, Reul had already commented on the next steps on the radio station WDR2, which will follow after the discovery of five chat groups, the seizure of cell phones and searches. “I am not a prophet, not a coffee grounds reader, unlike some who always already know everything. I’ll just start systematically now, ”said Reul.
Demands for anonymous reporting procedures for grievances
Investigate, educate, punish, that’s the motto. In addition to the police chiefs and the district administrators, he also wanted to make the lower and middle management levels of the NRW police more responsible.
When asked why the chat groups were not noticed earlier in the services, Reul said he currently has no real explanation for it. “I think that too often police officers still think that they have to cover everything through camaraderie.” Whoever does that, whoever remains silent, has to get out of the police force.
Reul appealed to report right-wing extremist chats: “Yes, you have to stick together, you have to rely on each other in emergencies. But conversely, you all swore an oath to abide by the laws and the constitution. And if a colleague does not do that, you have to report it, that is also your duty. “
The criminologist Prof. Tobias Singelnstein calls for anonymous reporting procedures for internal complaints to the police. “You can’t imagine that nobody noticed such a network within the police,” he said.
“But if someone notices something, the official channel has usually been used. At the same time, the “blackening” of colleagues in the police is still not appreciated.
Habeck demands a fight against a misunderstood spirit of the corps
Five right-wing extremist chat groups were discovered in North Rhine-Westphalia 29 police officers are said to have been involved. Those affected had been suspended and disciplinary measures had been taken against everyone, Reul announced the day before. 14 officials are to be removed from the service.
Green leader Robert Habeck called for action against “misunderstood corps spirit” among the officials. A whole department is involved, not all of them have actively participated, but no one has done anything about it for years, Habeck said on Thursday.
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The events showed particularly strikingly “what a wrongly understood corps spirit can do”. Therefore, an independent police officer must be set up. “This is the only way to effectively combat the wrongly understood spirit of the corps.”
BKA boss warns of loss of trust
In order to record the extent of right-wing extremist and racist networks, regular statistical inquiries from the conference of interior ministers in the federal states about incidents that are hostile, right-wing extremist or anti-constitutional, Habeck demanded. “Precisely because our security authorities are indispensable for the protection of our democracy, there must be no doubt about their loyalty to the constitution.”
BKA President Holger Münch warns of a loss of confidence. “These are incidents that seriously shake confidence in the police,” he told the editorial network Germany (RND).
CDU interior expert Armin Schuster sees no Germany-wide networks in the police. He has not spoken of individual cases for years. “But I still don’t see structures across Germany, networks across Germany that work together in a targeted manner,” said Schuster in the ARD “Morgenmagazin”. (Tsp, dpa)