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Video shows arrest: Public prosecutor's office investigates Düsseldorf police officers

Video shows arrest : Public prosecutor's office investigates Düsseldorf police officers

The Public Prosecutor's Office is investigating whether a policeman in the Düsseldorf Altstadt has committed a bodily injury in office. The interior committee of the state parliament will deal with the case.

The Düsseldorf public prosecutor's office is investigating a police officer on suspicion of assault in office. During an operation on Saturday night in the old town of Düsseldorf, he fixed a 15-year-old youth to the ground, pressing his knee on his head. The pictures of the operation remind of the death of the US-American George Floyd through police violence.

The video from Düsseldorf spread virally and triggered nationwide debates. North Rhine-Westphalia's Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) announced consistent clarification. The young man, who according to information from our editorial office is Moroccan, was charged with assault on law enforcement officers, resistance and insulting. The young man is said to be known to the police.

According to the Düsseldorf police, the officers were called to the Bolker Stern in the Altstadt on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Ten people were rioting there. The youngster, who is not involved here, is said to have disrupted the police action. When his personal details were to be established, he had assaulted the officers.

Reul said that he too was frightened when he saw the pictures. Knee and shinbone "on the ear" of the young man were basically covered by the deployment guidelines. On the neck this would not be allowed. What exactly had happened had to be "objectively clarified" now. The Duisburg police were commissioned with the investigation. They want to conduct interrogations, find witnesses and evaluate the pictures of the surrounding surveillance cameras in order to be able to judge the events in their entirety. This will take several days. The policeman in question is now working on office duties.

SPD and Greens in the state parliament applied for an „Aktuelle Stunde“ in the committee for internal affairs on Thursday. The Minister of the Interior is to report the first results of the investigations there. Irene Mihalic, spokeswoman for internal affairs of the Greens in the Bundestag, welcomed the investigation of the incident. She said that one could only judge when one knows the whole story. "What I cannot understand, however, is that after the events in the USA there is so little sensitivity and a policeman kneels on the head and neck of a person. He must know that it can be life-threatening."

The Lord Mayor of Düsseldorf, Thomas Geisel (SPD), spoke of disturbing images and called for a thorough investigation. Stefan Engstfeld, mayoral candidate of the Green Party, asked: "What should justify pressing the knee into the neck of a person lying on the floor and being fixated?". CDU top candidate Stephan Keller wants to know the whole procedure before he passes judgement. Anja Vorspel, a left-wing politician from Düsseldorf, called on the Düsseldorf police chief to "stop using this inhuman method".

The AfD expressed itself contradictorily. Her local association spoke of a "normal police operation", which is now only being misused for agitation against the police. The head of the AfD faction in the state parliament, Markus Wagner, on the other hand, said that it was a matter of course to investigate operations like those in Dusseldorf. He added, however, that it would be "counterproductive" "to declare our police officers to be perpetrators in every tougher deployment".

Original text: Reinhard Kowalewsky, Eva Quadbeck and Uwe-Jens Ruhnau - Translation: Mareike Graepel