30 suspended police officers and an incalculable extent. The state must protect itself before it tries to protect the population.
On a sunny day in September, NRW Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul announces a gloomy message: 30 police officers are suspected of having spread right-wing extremist content in chat groups for years. At the police headquarters in Essen, 25 officers are affected. Reul speaks of a “disgrace for the police”. But the incident is not only a disgrace for the police, but a clear failure of the state. The warning signals are well known, but are often ignored.
“In your own cause you are always the mildest judge”.
A Portuguese proverb says “In your own affairs you are always the mildest judge”. This proverb fits the current situation. Far too often people in this country were allowed to shake their heads when they learned how violent, racist and sexist police officers got away with small pinpricks.
Only recently, a 15-year-old boy in the middle of Hamburg was beaten down disproportionately and without reason by eight police officers. The shots reminded one of horrible scenes from the USA. Especially when one considers that there were no consequences for the Hamburg officers.
The scenes from the USA should be a lesson for the whole world: The police as the most important state authority, charged with the security of the population, must not be mildly sanctioned after disproportionate violence against their own population or after anti-constitutional activities. It must feel the hardness of the state and must not be protected with a special vest.
There must be no lenient judges and no lenient sentences in such cases. Otherwise a state will be created in which the constitution, laws, norms and ethical values lose their effectiveness.
Where is the protection of the constitution?
Right-wing extremism within the police force is not new territory. We all agree on that. That is why in some people’s faces, as a reaction to these “new” events, one could see the “It’s nothing new after all” look. It feels like a banal message when you learn that there are any neo-Nazi networks and groups within the police or the Bundeswehr. However, it is a highly toxic “normality” that is deliberately ignored, distorted and covered up out of political calculation.
As far as the cover-up is concerned, one can write entire novels on the subject of the NSU. The image of a party and government and the associated striving to maintain power overshadows the truth. The truth is: There are right-wing extremists within the police force!
Normally there would be a statistical proof at this point, but this is consistently prevented by Mr. Seehofer, because the extent of such research is incalculable. It would be naive to believe that the Ministry of the Interior would take full care of these grievances, or rather publish the extent of them. Too much is at stake.
There are three powers in this country that control themselves. In a democracy, the separation of powers serves to protect against abuse of power. Especially with regard to the current situation, we can ask ourselves where the judiciary as a judicial power remains. It is in the highest position with the Federal Constitutional Court. It is the power that is there to protect the constitution, among other things. However, your passivity in this current hour is disappointing. The Ministry of the Interior would certainly not initiate a thorough investigation on its own initiative and shoot itself in the knee.
One thing is clear: fighting right-wing extremism with right-wing extremists is not possible. It is as if the smoking father tells his child that smoking is unhealthy and that he should refrain from it. It is a paradox. Many people who have been victims of racist attacks by the police think the same way. Neither a minister of the interior nor a normal citizen can see how and what a policeman thinks. This of course makes the current situation difficult. However, trust in the police is in a downward spiral. But we must not forget the honest police officers who do a good job and protect us every day.
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