Focus Rule of Law: No disciplinary action by Berlin police over “humanity was yesterday” incident (Published on 08/04/2023)

On 16/09/2022, a short video clip was published on the Telegram channel „Polizisten für Aufklärung“ which shows several members of the Berlin police 11th Einsatzhundertschaft (“emergency squad”) taking away a person. Various critical comments can be heard from – apparently – passers-by or possibly the author of the video, in which, among other things, “double standards” of police work are criticized. Thereupon audible statements are, for example, “There are good demos and there are bad demos!” (referring to demonstrations) as well as “We have to carry out our orders, that’s all!”. Finally, an exclamation can be heard that has caused bewilderment in many cases: “Humanity was yesterday!”

On 30/09/2022, I had submitted a disciplinary complaint with the Berlin police as regards the comments “There are good demos and there are bad demos!” as well as to “Humanity was yesterday!”, asking for an examination under disciplinary law.

In a letter dated 24/11/2022, the Berlin police stated that the complaint could not currently be processed. While stating that (translation from German language)

“The exemplary behavior of our employees (…) is important to us and is therefore also critically questioned or evaluated in justified situations. Because the Berlin police has the task to respect and protect fundamental rights.”,

it was also the case that

„at this point in time, neither a manipulation of the video could be ruled out, nor could the statements be visually or auditorily assigned to a person.”

Although back numbers of members of the 11th Einsatzhundertschaft could be seen in the video clip, it was not recognizable whether the respective persons also said anything. Likewise, it would not have been possible to assign the statements on the basis of the voices either. As the date and location of the recording were also unknown, it was not yet possible to attribute it to a mission.

However, due to the texts inserted into the video, it was recognizable that it had been edited. The question had therefore arisen as to whether the statements in question were inserted into the video retroactively. In order to rule out manipulation, it was therefore necessary to submit the original video for the purpose of “assessing the technical metadata”.

It remains open whether the Berlin police had questioned the three members of the 11th Einsatzhundertschaft, whose back numbers can be seen in the video, or the leader of the 1st platoon of this unit, who can also be seen in the video, about the incident. Do they perhaps prefer not to know so exactly?

(Head picture: Excerpt of said video clip, 
Telegram channel „Polizisten für Aufklärung“, 16/09/2022)

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