Racist and antisemitic language in the Saxony-Anhalt police

- Stereotypical, racist and antisemitic attributions such as "Jew" for business-minded people, "Kanacke" and "Negro" for foreigners or blacks: the use of such expressions is widespread among officials of the Saxony-Anhalt State Police, according to a report by a special commission from the Ministry of Justice Magdeburg, which was presented to the interior committee of the state parliament on Thursday.

“There is no question that this is unacceptable”, write the authors of the 154-page report, which is available to the “Evangelical Press Service”. In addition, everyday racism was found in some disciplinary proceedings against police officers. However, there are no indications of institutional racism or antisemitism.

One should be able to expect police officers to refrain from making such statements in their official and private dealings, said Interior Minister Michael Richter (CDU): "antisemitism, racism and xenophobia have no place in our country and in our police."

Richter's predecessor Holger Stahlknecht (CDU) set up the commission in October 2020. Under the chairmanship of a Justice Ministerial Director, she had, among other things, held talks with officials, police officers and organizations and evaluated internal procedures in the past few months.

The trigger was an anonymous e-mail, according to which the operator of a riot police canteen had been described by officials as a "Jew" for years. That was generally known, but was not prevented by the management staff. The report confirms this and concludes that it is conceivable that the officials were aware of the origin of the term, "but they have no awareness of wrongdoing to call a person who is considered to be particularly capable of business as a 'Jew'".

Elsewhere, the commission sums up that riot police “lack the necessary vigilance in dealing with terminology”. Terms used by police trainees such as “Fascist Tuesday” or “Fat Wednesday” for the targeted control of foreigners or overweight people on certain days are mentioned.

In order to counter the grievances, the commission recommended, among other things, the establishment of a central processing unit for criminal allegations against police officers and an independent complaints office. Regular supervision, mentoring for managers and greater awareness of xenophobia, racism and antisemitism are also recommended. In addition, the state police should increasingly look for young people among people with a history of immigration, and deportations should be accompanied by neutral observers.

Interior Minister Richter said the establishment of an independent complaints office was being examined. Other recommendations will also be taken up, others are already being implemented.

Source: Migazin