On 16 June 2020, the police union (GdP) brought charges against the columnist Hegameh Yaghoobifarah and the German newspaper “taz” after the latter had agitated against policemen and policewomen in an article. On Monday, a corresponding text was published under the title “All cops are incapable of working”. Jens Mohrherr, deputy state chairman of the Trade Union of the German Police, GdP in Hesse and chairman of the main staff council, addressed the Minister of the Interior Peter Beuth and the State Secretary Stefan Heck in an open letter.
Dear Minister Beuth,
Dear State Secretary Dr Heck
With sheer horror, thousands of Hessian police officers and their families and relatives have once again had to learn how opinion-forming is carried out in public on the back of those who protect the state and its citizens.
Whether we like it or not: The newspaper “taz“ and the accompanying (worldwide) spread of these inexcusable insults to an entire professional group is not only damaging the reputation of our profession, but is damaging the state as well!
Regardless of this, the public debate about “racism in the police force” does not stop!
Despite the fact that the trade unions (GdP and the German Police Trade Union, DPolG) have brought criminal charges to the public prosecution department and the corresponding reprimands to the press council, many of us can guess what will now follow: a never-ending public debate about the police and their employees!
Lawyers will talk about the facts and will decline the possible criminal offences “up and down“.
Already months ago we have seen that even the use of the term “A.C.A.B.“* is interpreted generously in favour of the freedom of expression.
It remains to be seen to what extent insulting and degrading settlements from the “taz“ article will then be sanctioned by the state, or even whether the criminal proceedings initiated will be stopped.
Nationwide, police officers are not only covered with malice and ridicule, inhumane comparisons and degradations will probably become a digital pastime in the social networks.
In the years since the Federal Republic of Germany came into existence, the police and their employees have learned that the former respect for their profession is a long-faded memory from past decades of the past century.
Police officers suffer physical and psychological violence – threats (also in the private sphere) – insults – denigration and much more.
In the society, violence against police officers is recorded at best as a marginal note after a media publication becomes known. But what remains with us as victims are visible wounds, scars on many souls and often the feeling: “The state has left me alone with this! The word “fair game“ is also being used more and more often.
In political discourse there can and must be no ‘yes-but’ when it comes to violence against police and their employees.
As the culmination of state care, the state anti-discrimination law (LADG) passed in Berlin is now reality with noticeable (one-sided) consequences for us as affected persons!
Even a discussion of the LADG in the upcoming conference of interior ministers will not persuade the people‘s representatives in Berlin to change this law.
Finally, I will take the liberty of reflecting on the surveys conducted by renowned opinion research institutes. We police employees enjoy a high degree of respect and integrity among the population. We have worked for this for many years.
That this remains so depends on the support of the police in the plenary chambers!
Source: Trade Union of the German Police in Hesse; 17 Juni 2020, https://www.gdp.de/gdp/gdphe.nsf/id/DE_GdP-Berlin_Strafanzeig?open
* The acronym A.C.A.B. is an acronym meaning “All cops are bastards”, or in the same way, “All cops are pigs”. This slogan is used by numerous youth subcultures, especially among autonomous people, skinheads, hooligans, ultras and punks.
(Translation Current Concerns)
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