Is the police your friend

The police, your friend and enemy

Sometimes they are welcome, more often they are not: Policemen have a hard time. The current criticism of "racial profiling" and right-wing extremists in their own ranks does not make it any easier. It's high time to take a closer look at the job

A black poster has been circulating on Facebook for some time with three words written in capital letters on a red background: "Dear police" and "Thank you!" In between it reads: "If you take action, it is police violence! If you do not do it, you will be asked where you have been! You do not have enough staff, and politics is also making it more and more difficult for you to do your work properly! Thank you, that you try anyway! " And finally the call: "Share, if you support our police!" A good 190,000 users have now done this.

Ungrateful job: too much or too little violence!

That sounds like a pretty ungrateful job. If they do their job, there is criticism. Let it be, too. However, the complaints do not necessarily come from the same senders: In the first case, too much police interference is complained about, from those affected and observers. In the second, such an intervention is missed by people who would have wanted it - for their protection or to prevent damage to property, for example.

But it can also be that both cases are experienced by one and the same person. During a demonstration, for example, she is unjustly attacked by police officers from their point of view; She is ambushed while walking, but no policeman is far and wide to help her.

In addition to this recurring criticism, the police are currently falling into the public firing line for "racial profiling" and right-wing extremists in their own ranks. To assess the riots in Stuttgart on June 20, the investigators had investigated at registry offices. They wanted to know whether German suspects have a migration background. The accusation of racism was quickly raised.

The criticism of the police in Frankfurt, from whose ranks personal data were sent by politicians to right-wing extremists, became even louder. Those who apparently used them for direct insults and threats against artists and politicians, signed with "NSU 2.0". Violent outrage also about fascist chats among law enforcement officers - discovered by chance among officials in Mülheim an der Ruhr.

Kind of popular, but also kind of not

Despite all the old and new criticism, a lot of overtime and a lack of staff, it does not prevent around a quarter of a million German citizens from doing their daily work for the police. They regularly occupy one of the top positions in the ranking of the most popular professions, and are only topped by firefighters, doctors, nurses and geriatric nurses. They leave judges, teachers, entrepreneurs or politicians behind (see Forsa survey 2019).

The back and forth in the attitude towards the police is a mystery: Somehow already viewed and considered necessary, but often rather not seen or experienced, unless you need concrete help in a dangerous or emergency situation.

And doubts are now emerging as to how much you can rely on a police force that presorts suspects according to origin, passes personal data to right-wing extremists and sends each other pictures with Nazi motifs. To solve the riddle, let's take a closer look at what functions the police have in a democracy.

Chapter I: The Friend

"The police, your friend and helper" - who doesn't know this saying? It became public during the Weimar period through the Prussian Interior Minister Albert Grzesinski. In the foreword to a book for the Berlin police exhibition in 1926, he wrote of the police's motto, "to be a friend, helper and comrade of the population". This should put the police in a better light, which was also the aim of the police exhibition. The National Socialists later used the quote to generate sympathy for the law enforcement officers who were now diligently serving the fascist state.

To this day, the idea has persisted that men and women in uniform are not only a help, but also for the innocent citizen when he needs it. The "friend" is officially forbidden: after all, the police are not allowed to have any personal sympathy, but act according to the law. But the citizens know that, hardly anyone is mistaken.

"Helper"? Not a word about it in the police law

In fact, police officers also help in their everyday work. They provide non-residents with information about the way to the train station, help older people across the street or alert colleagues from the fire department if a cat has run away and jumped into a tree - and much more. However, this runs alongside their actual mission and is therefore not mentioned in the police law. But there is a "help" element in the first paragraph (here: Police Act of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia):

"The task of the police is to ward off dangers to public safety or order (averting danger). In the context of this task, they have to prevent criminal offenses and combat them preventively and to make the necessary preparations for providing assistance and acting in emergencies."

The assumption that the police are there to protect against dangers to life, limb and property of the citizens refers to this "assistance" in emergency situations. And it is true: These individual legal interests also belong to "public security". The law assumes that bodily harm and even murder occur regularly in this society, as do theft, robbery and fraud. The reality in Germany - and all other countries - confirms this. People are constantly being harmed and people are striving for property of others.

But why is the legislature so sure about that? Apparently he has at least an idea of ​​how things go in his society. And that there are therefore a lot of reasons for the people not always to stick to the rules.

Property crime: the forbidden route to wealth

For example, getting rich with fraud and not through a profitable company or smart investment as intended. You can also combine them, as the latest case of the DAX group Wirecard shows. Such people have already understood what capitalism is all about: making more money out of money.

They just don't choose the cumbersome and uncertain path of a successful business model. Instead, they try to illegally land wealth created through legal channels - or, as with Wirecard, to simulate a lucrative business in order to attract financial backers. Particularly attractive for citizens who otherwise have no chance of a considerable fortune. And most of them are in our society.

Clumsy but sometimes just as effective: theft and robbery. Even though the sums involved here are mostly less large. However, these ways to make more money are also part of the standard repertoire in Germany and the rest of the world.

The German police crime statistics document a total of around 1.8 million cases of simple and serious theft for 2019. In addition, there are around 830,000 cases of fraud and almost 1.1 million cases of street crime (including assaults and robbery). Property crimes have the largest share of the total number of crimes, a good two thirds. The other offenses include drug offenses, bodily harm, property damage. The cases were committed by around 1.3 million Germans and almost 700,000 non-Germans (see Federal Ministry of the Interior, for Building and Home Affairs: Police crime statistics 2019. Selected figures at a glance. May 2020).

The "help" of the police consists in the pursuit of thieves, robbers and fraudsters. And also a little bit in the prevention of tips on how best to protect yourself individually against these crimes. More rarely, but also in the program: catching it "in flagranti", that is, in the act. Then of course the almost injured person thanks the intervening authority very warmly and sincerely.

Even more so when the police avert danger to life and limb. This can be an intervention in "domestic violence" when someone is violent against partner or children; in a fight in the pub or between football fans, when insults and alcohol levels build up; may even require temporary personal protection in the event of threats to be stopped; or, not related to personal violence, the cordoning off of danger points, for example in the event of an accident, and the organization of faster and further help. In the case of the latter, the police also clarify what happened, and note down the guilty and injured.

No contradiction: order restored, victims are left behind

The law enforcement officers act here not as a "friend", but as an authority that regulates conflicts. Which is not to be confused with taking sides. The police take action against legal violations, arrest the perpetrators and the guilty. In this way it restores "public security" in the sense of the Police Act and maintains "order". Your job is done with that.

No further care is provided for the victims in this context. What regularly leads to lawsuits, they are given too little attention:

Millions of citizens are the victims of criminals, such as burglars and scammers, every year. They are robbed of their belongings or suffer physical pain. But often that's not even the worst - the victims are not taken seriously, the consequences of the crime are played down. (...) While the public interest is more in the perpetrator - his biography, his persecution and conviction - the consequences for the victim are quickly out of focus.


The association "Weißer Ring" offers victims the missing help. He has been active since 1976 - and he is sure that his purpose will continue to exist for the time being.

Our society: a single employment guarantee for the police

Quite rightly: Because the reasons for the numerous and regular violations of the legal system do not disappear. However, they are not given by nature, but are created in our society. In which every citizen is relied on to support his or her existence through an income from money. He gets the money through dependent employment or by letting dependent employees work for him. So there is a contrast in the world that can give those concerned "stupid thoughts".

In view of the fact that with their work they will never get out of poverty, not to mention wealth, some consider illegal ways out of this situation. The others overturn the screw of permitted exploitation if the deal is unsuccessful, trick the balance sheet and sit on packed suitcases. It's all about money, and against each other, day after day. Normally, winners and losers divorce without infringement; But not everyone accepts it. Then the legal system is broken and the police have to work again.

From the point of view of the police, this is a Sisyphus job: the crimes are not decreasing, they are always "growing". A feat, because the reasons for them do not go away. If you can't get enough money for life, you have to get it in another way or make your way through life - the range of possibilities starts with the "boards" that society welcomes and does not end with shoplifting.

Because those who do not want to be satisfied with what is necessary for their existence, but claim a supposedly due share of the social wealth, must think in other dimensions: robbery, fraud, drug trafficking, extortion, money laundering, protection money, mailbox companies, etc.

When happiness in life does not come ...

And what about "domestic violence", rape, murder and manslaughter, often in families and relatives? And what about the rioting at soccer games? It can't have anything to do with capitalism, isn't it in human nature? At least no genetic predispositions have been found in the meanwhile known human gene sequence. But there is still the "environment". And if you look at them, there are some recurring reasons to be found here for all the mean things that people do to each other.

The constraints that reign in the world of work shouldn't be in your free time: in other words, strenuous, health-wiping work for other purposes, supervised by superiors, at tight intervals, for a tight budget, and in a notoriously insecure employment relationship. No, happiness should return in the time before and after work - even if it is only a few hours; and which consist to a large extent of doing the private things like household chores, looking after the children and relaxing from the working day.

There is not much space for beautiful experiences and the cultivation of lust and love. All the more weighs the claim that in these few moments the little paradise will appear. At least then! It's just stupid if the partner doesn't play along - because he is too exhausted, he is overwhelmed by everyday worries, there is no money everywhere for the "great experiences". After all, you live together to give each other happiness!

... the disappointment can lead to violence

Woe if this does not come true in the long term. There are transitions to mutual reproaches as to why the nice togetherness doesn't work. Demands on the other partner for love performance and unconditional care are disappointed. A "life plan" breaks, it is of course the fault of the other. If things go well, you split up reasonably well. The worse and not uncommon variant ends in bitter quarrels and in court. If the dispute has not already become tangible - and the police have to intervene.

It may be anything, but how do football fans fit in? On the one hand: Here too, the police are often involved. On the other hand: These people too have an idea of ​​their own private happiness apart from the necessities of making money. This consists in their enthusiasm for "their" club and in the weekly celebration of its successes.

Opposing fans then have to submit to their club's defeat, otherwise there'll be a blow. If you lose yourself, you can show the other supporters how much you despise them. Quite simply because they like the wrong club. Logical, even then there’s a blow. In all cases, the law enforcement officers have to intervene. What doesn't surprise you: Because this kind of fanaticism is an integral part of sports culture, so it repeats itself regularly. No one is therefore surprised at the number of police associations that must be deployed at Bundesliga games.

"Ass card" for the police?

In summary up to this point: In their work, the police have to do with social conditions in which people compete against each other. They are obliged by the "order" that the police officers maintain not to resolve the permanent conflicts with violence. Instead, everyone has to accept the constant separation between winners and losers. And in pursuing their interests, the citizens have to kindly adhere to laws that direct the myriad of possible meannesses, defrauding and other unpleasant sides of the dispute over money in such a way that in the end, despite everything, social wealth comes about the state has decided.

It reads as if the police had drawn quite an "ass card": people are constantly attacking each other, and she always has to intervene. Which, as we have seen, makes them appear as "friends" with the injured and those in need of protection.

From the other perspective, however, they are "enemy": The police are currently preventing a lot of citizens from taking their own personal path to more money and thus happiness, which is forbidden by the state. And there are many others who violate "public order" and are therefore treated rather unkindly by the police. Which brings us to Chapter Two:

Chapter II: The Enemy

Strictly speaking, "police violence" is a "white mold". The police is simply the force with which a state enforces its laws against resistance from its people. And so that this violence is always overpowering and thus victorious, only the police have the right to exercise violence internally.

Apart from the fact that, as described in Chapter One, the citizens have to accept their conflict-ridden everyday life without wanting to correct negative consequences for them with violence. Violence among one another is then prevented or punished with violence against them. What is actually meant by "police violence": too many attacks, beyond a certain level. This opens up a wide field for discussion. More on that later.

Restrict fundamental rights? Logical, otherwise the police can't work

Police force is being felt by a lot of people for very different reasons.First and foremost, the lawbreakers described in the "Friends" chapter - but also people classified as potential terrorists or "threats". In plain language: Anyone who, according to the state's assessment, threatens to break the law will be locked up as a precaution. This gives the state a great deal of room for maneuver. And that is exactly what is wanted.

When the police take action against citizens, it is inevitable that some of their fundamental rights are violated:

§ 7 Restriction of Fundamental Rights.

Through this law the fundamental rights are based on

informational self-determination (Article 2 paragraph 1 in conjunction with Article 1 paragraph 1 of the Basic Law),
Life and physical integrity (Article 2, Paragraph 2, Clause 1 of the Basic Law),
Freedom of the person (Article 2, Paragraph 2 of the Basic Law),
Freedom of assembly (Article 8 of the Basic Law),
Telecommunications secrecy (Article 10 Paragraph 1 of the Basic Law),
Free movement (Article 11 of the Basic Law) and
Inviolability of the home (Article 13 of the Basic Law)
limited. (Police Act NRW)

In short: the whole range of freedom of the citizen in a democracy can be thrown overboard by the police. The state does not tolerate rule violations.

To do this, without batting an eyelid, he overrides the inalienable fundamental rights. But legally well-founded, judicially checked: After all, this should remain the exception - because most citizens should not have to be put under the curb with police force. But with the force of the economic circumstances that distinguish between the dispossessed and the owners of the means of production.

What should also be noted: the permission to freedom through basic rights also includes their withdrawal. Logical, because whoever allows can also forbid. Not at all logical, however, in relation to freedom - why is there a need for violence that grants "life and physical integrity"? You can live? Sounds ridiculous, but on closer inspection it is very threatening.

The state thus reserves the right to deal with this life as it sees fit.

The state refers to itself everything its citizens do and want and formulate its regulations for them. The venerable French state theorist Montesquieu already summed up the much-invoked freedom through basic democratic rights in the middle of the 18th century: 1

"In a state, that is, in a society where there are laws, freedom can only consist in being able to do what one may want ..."

The legislature decides on the respective scope of the will-may. And he leaves that to his police to enforce.

Precautionary arrest for two weeks

Depending on the political situation, restrictions on basic rights can be defined even more broadly. At the end of 2018, for example, the North Rhine-Westphalia Police Act was supplemented by "custody":

Section 35 custody

(1) The police can take a person into custody if (...)
2. that is essential to prevent the imminent commission or continuation of a criminal offense or an administrative offense of considerable importance for the general public (...)
This is aimed at terrorists and so-called "threats", in which the state assumes an impending crime. Who belongs to these groups of people is left to the judgment of the judge, based on the police representation. In any case, such citizens can no longer be detained for a maximum of 48 hours without being charged with an act, but now for 14 days (§ 38 Police Act NRW), with an option to extend for a further two weeks. So you can be detained for almost a whole month if you are classified as "dangerous".

A first balance reads like this:

"With the preventive custody and police custody, terror suspects and threats should be arrested longer before they can commit a crime. The previously possible 48 hours were extended to two 14 days. This was ordered 29 times by the court until the end of October. In 15 cases it was possible but not terrorism, but domestic violence. Three cases actually had a terrorist background. Four cases involved the occupation of a lignite excavator. The occupiers refused to reveal their identity. " (WDR, December 12, 2019).

For the sake of completeness, there are other police law innovations to be mentioned: wiretapping of "endangered parties", unprompted surveillance and control of certain scenes, expansion of video surveillance and "state trojans" for online searches.

So you can be locked away for two weeks because you don't show your identity card. That doesn't go down well with those affected. The police thus attract their hostility. There are many similar cases: squatters who are evicted by the authorities; Demonstrators who are prevented from walking or arrested for disguised disguises; People who are given preferential treatment and are particularly strictly controlled because the police regard them as fundamentally suspicious; Members of "scenes" that are considered to be somehow dangerous - that ranges from political groups to dubious family clans; and for some years now there has been an increasing number of people on the run who are sent back to the hell from which they came.

The subtle difference between head and neck

The police are regularly criticized for doing these tasks in an "excessive" manner. Then there is talk of "police violence". For example, because the police seemingly indiscriminately surrounds demonstrators, beats them, breaks up a blockade with clubs, or, as recently in Düsseldorf, an officer presses his knee onto the neck of the arrested person - and this looks like the murder of George Floyd in the USA recently.

The latter, then experts explain, is a learned and proven technique: it is supposed to fix the person to be arrested, so that he does not injure himself, "for example to be able to claim later that the police injured (him)," police explain - Researcher Rafael Behr:

The question that is now in the room is: Did the policeman only press his knee on his head or also in his neck, which would no longer be compliant with the training due to the risk of injury.

Rafael Behr, time online

It's reassuring to know that the person in question didn't have to share the American's fate after all. Then this violence is okay.

In the case of "police violence", that is the question that is constantly being asked anew in public: Was the violence used appropriate? Did the suspect lying on the ground still have to be kicked? Wasn't shooting at a stone thrower an exaggeration? Such debates revolve around the proportionality of the means, do not deal with the reasons for the police actions. These are assumed to be lawful in principle.

"Culture of Inequality"

When asked about the causes, the accusation of racism is usually in the room. To list the examples here in full, in view of the large number, would have to fail over a fairly long period of time. A current overview in the Frankfurter Rundschau lists twelve particularly blatant cases.

A pattern can be seen despite the diversity of the processes: Non-Germans, whether actually or only apparently, treat police officers with due mistrust, disdain and rejection. Accordingly, they deal with the suspects in a rude or harassing manner. Police researcher Rafael Behr explains it this way:

Police work also expresses what a society considers normal and what is not. Who does it belong to? Who does not? And all those who do not comply with this regulatory framework often have a hard time with the police: black people, people with a migration background, but also leftists or simply freedom-loving people. There is a deep-seated culture of inequality.

Rafael Behr, time online

Anyone who does not belong to "us" is suspect

What Rafael Behr calls "culture" is the normal racism of citizens. They sort out very precisely who belongs to "us", in this case Germany, and who does not. And the state finally stipulates this sorting, keyword immigration and asylum policy. In this respect, the police act on the basis of a fairly widespread nationalism.

So why a reproach if you think like good Germans in your work? Especially since they have another argument on their side: "If I always work in the same milieu, for example always using drugs, that narrows my view of the world. Migrants are then only dealers, thieves and thugs," says expert Behr elsewhere .2

Hence the "racial profiling" approach. The police look for patterns in their investigations that lead to the perpetrators. And one example is the "non-German". Basically he is suspicious. Cynically, this even has a real core: The plight of many foreigners gives some of them "stupid thoughts". Because they hardly have a chance in Germany of getting halfway bearable and lucrative jobs, let alone a career, they choose illegal routes. You drive people into a desperate situation and then wonder why they want to get out of there, in the end, no matter how. Which in turn confirms the assessment: They only cause trouble and should be deported!

Criticism of "racial profiling": wrong way to the right goal

Nevertheless, "racial profiling" meets with strong public criticism:

Unprovoked personal checks solely on the basis of a phenotypic appearance violate the Basic Law (Article 3, Paragraph 3 of the Basic Law), the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) and the prohibition of racist discrimination laid down in the European Convention on Human Rights and the prohibition of racist discrimination laid down in the international anti-racism convention .

Vanessa Eileen Thompson, Racial Profiling, Institutional Racism and Intervention Options

The police chiefs and their superiors in the interior ministries of the federal states therefore officially and regularly protest against the accusation of pre-sorting people. But they also refer to the reality of the investigators, in line with police researcher Behr: "In the hotspot Bahnhofsviertel we are responsible for fighting crime. For example, against drug trafficking. At the moment, 74 percent of the dealers in the quarter are third-country nationals, i.e. non-nationals. Europeans. Well over 90 percent of the remaining dealers come from other European countries, "explains Gerhard Bereswil, Frankfurt's police chief.

Critics do not deny this, but point to another, in their view, questionable connection:

While German white adolescents would have to be 'really loud and aggressive' for the police to control them, others would have a beard or a headscarf, Saba-Nur Cheema, head of the pedagogical department of the Anne Frank educational institution in Frankfurt, is certain (.. .) However, she also emphasized that it was a social problem that did not only affect the police.

Frankfurter Neue Presse online

Other critics complain that "racial profiling" does not lead to the desired results; in the fight against terrorism excludes the communities on whose cooperation the police depend; and aims at violations that Germans could not commit at all (illegal residence or work ban).

The criticism of "racial profiling" is reduced to the ideal: The police should, if you please, go about their work without - literally - respecting the people with whom they are dealing. That is a bit much to ask in view of the experience in everyday investigations and the attitude of the police officers as German citizens towards non-Germans.

They also know and share the fundamental mistrust that the state harbors towards people who are not subordinate to it, but to a foreign power. It is annoying when it turns out in retrospect: The person only looks like a non-German, but has a proper local ID card and is not guilty of anything.

But exceptions only confirm the rule, i.e. the pattern. The "racial profiling" is officially forbidden. And there will probably no longer be such queries about migration backgrounds as in Stuttgart. But in the minds of many police officers it will continue to work (see also Arian Schiffer-Nasserie: Police and Racism. About an ugly but inevitable connection).

Swear by democracy and be right-wing extremists - is that possible?

This apparently also applies to right-wing extremist attitudes: officially prohibited, but still available in some offices. In recent years they have come to light more and more. Police officers retrieved data from political, judicial, media and cultural figures from police computers. And these senders with the signature "NSU 2.0" used for threatening letters - racist, anti-Semitic, misogynistic and neo-Nazi content

Chat logs on the mobile phones of a total of 30 police officers in North Rhine-Westphalia also caused a stir.

During the investigation into a complete police service group in Mülheim an der Ruhr, (NRW Interior Minister) Reul discovered image files that contain, among other things, images of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler and swastikas, Reich war flags and a fictional representation of a refugee in the gas chamber of a concentration camp . One of the chat groups was probably founded in 2013, it is assumed, but no later than May 2015.

Katja Thorwarth, police scandal in North Rhine-Westphalia - right-wing extremist chat group shares images of Hitler and swastikas

"The end of the flagpole has not been reached for a long time," said NRW Interior Minister Reul in view of the further known cases. How can that be? When you are hired, police officers finally take an oath in accordance with Section 64 of the Federal Civil Service Act: "I swear to uphold the Basic Law and all laws in force in the Federal Republic of Germany and to conscientiously fulfill my official duties, so help me God."

That excludes world views that reject and fight against the democratically constituted German state. What is immediately obvious: people who are supposed to enforce the law of the state must also accept this right. There is no place in the police for left or right-wing extremists. Both views reject democracy - albeit for very different reasons. So far, however, little or nothing has been heard of left-wing extremist statements or acts by police officers, and even more so from right-wing extremists. Obviously, it is not an intolerable contradiction for these police officers to go about their jobs despite their anti-democratic attitude.

And that works, as an example from police researcher Rafael Behr shows:

Michel Friedman, the chairman of the Jewish community at the time, was guarded by two bodyguards from the Frankfurt police. At one point, investigators searched the lockers of these two officers, assuming that the receipts had billed incorrectly. They found skulls, long coats, Nazi devotional items. The two men were right-wing men, maybe Nazis, and Friedman didn't notice. Friedman later said in interviews that the officers had done a wonderful job until they were discovered.

Rafael Behr, time online

"To rule" or even demonstrative contempt for Friedman were evidently out of the question.

This works out! Just don't get caught

In fact, right-wing extremists in the ranks of the police do not attract attention because they neglect their duties, on the contrary. Rather, it is mostly accidental discoveries that cause disbelief and horror among those responsible. Also about the fact that colleagues who knew about right-wing extremist thoughts did not report anything to higher authorities. There is then immediately talk of a misunderstood spirit of the corps. Easily said, but who will tell colleagues knowing that this means termination without notice for the person concerned? And as an informer, one would not only be excluded from common barbecues. Especially when there are practically no problems, especially in everyday life?

Could it be that the police job is also and especially interesting for people who are bothered by citizens' self-interest and lack of respect for the state? Who think the state is generally too weak and do not find it good that people think of themselves day in and day out and not of what they should do for the state? Who therefore consider the tour of democracy to allow the ruling staff to compete as a weakness?

Because again only lobbyists compete, and in the end lazy compromises come out! For example, the kind that the police officers are poorly equipped and simply too few for all the problems they are supposed to solve - because the politicians can't manage it. And then there is criticism from them when the law enforcement officers are just doing their job! Looks familiar, doesn't it? That sounds very much like the quoted Facebook comment from the beginning of this article. You can do your job with such thoughts: People only think of themselves, have too little respect and take advantage of every weakness of the state.It is all the more important that the police resolutely oppose this and enforce the state rules against all odds! Rules that allow business to run reliably and meet the needs of the state - for an obedient people full of hardworking taxpayers, voters and defenders of the fatherland.

There is another common starting point with right-wing extremist views: These criticize German democracy, among other things, for its allegedly too lax attitude towards foreigners and criminals. This can also be shared by people who do not follow a neo-Nazi ideology. Anyone who distinguishes between Germans and non-Germans in police work is not a fascist; but practices exactly the separation that the state prescribes. In doing so, and that is the decisive factor, the police officer has to adhere precisely to the law - and not shoot beyond it without authorization.

This is also the case with right-wing criticism about dealing with criminals: Police officers sometimes quarrel with their task if it does not succeed - for example because the arrested person is released a short time later or he receives too little or no punishment during the trial . There they meet with allegations from the right against the judiciary. It is also important here to endure this and not take the law into your own hands.

And if there are no isolated cases ...?

This is exactly what the politicians are concerned about: that there are secretly many civil servants with right-wing extremist ideas. So you do not know in what number they are to be found. And those responsible should not assume that they will defend democracy under all circumstances. The politicians, for example NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) on ZDF, express themselves rigorously: "Anyone who is caught is thrown out (...) A police officer has a responsibility, this is not a normal job."

He does not want to allow a few to discredit the entire police force.

That is why the debate about investigations into racism and right-wing extremism in the police force revolves. How much is it an admission that our law enforcement officers have a particular problem when studies are commissioned? Aren't the police suffering from damage to their image? On the other hand: Only when the scope of the problem becomes clear can one properly clean up.

But you won't get rid of the problem either way. Because why not a few police officers have been racist and right-wing extremists for a long time, where the intersections between their task and the normal national ideas lie, will certainly not be discussed. The reasons for the forbidden attitudes do not disappear: The criticism of how foreigners or those who somehow look like this and how criminals are dealt with - namely, allegedly too leniently and not consistently.

Conclusion: All Cops Are Professional!

No, the police officers are not "incapacitated", as the taz columnist Hengameh Yaghoobifarah wrote in June of this year. They do their job successfully every day. Because they enforce the state rules with their means of violence, bring all kinds of lawbreakers to justice, sometimes as a precautionary measure. You protect threatened people, come on an emergency call. And when time allows and the opportunity arises, they are happy to help with small everyday things.

In their job, they make more enemies than friends. In this society there are a lot of reasons why the state-defined freedom of "wanting to be allowed" encounters resistance. Because this is basically the case, the offenses do not stop. It starts with shoplifting and does not end with fraud, blackmail, blackmailing, drugs, robbery and murder. It's always about money, which in this country very carefully separates people into winners and losers.

But not all accept this. And if it's not just about, jealousy and fanaticism strike: the disappointment over the lack of at least private happiness or the anger over the defeats of the beloved club. Also in the permanent program: the control of demonstrations and the prosecution of politically motivated crimes.

Quite a few police officers are frustrated with their Sisyphus work. 4. How they explain the constant recurrence of violations of the law is not known to the public, nor is it discussed. Police researcher Rafael Behr, who refers to the term "dominance culture" by the psychologist Birgit Rommelspacher, has an inkling:

"Many policemen have the clear idea: We are the good guys who fight for what's right, the enemies are out there. There is also the thought: We represent the rule, you are subject to the rule."

The "enemies outside" and the "rulership" over them and all others have the character of incontrovertible facts. It's just like this: Here the state, synonymous with "the right thing", there the enemies who obviously want "the wrong thing". Why the right thing reliably provokes the wrong thing is not questioned.

If, however, there are always too many wrong people who cannot be caught or who are released again, police officers become critical: complaints about insufficient staff and resources follow, and doubts about the correct jurisdiction arise. Transitions to right-wing extremist criticism of the "weak state" are obvious. Other docking points are the normal nationalism of the "citizens in uniform", which treats foreigners with normal reservations and uses investigative experience to create a pattern: "racial profiling".

In her heavily criticized column, the taz author Yaghoobifarah had considered what to do with police officers if they no longer had their state-supporting task. Conversely, it becomes a shoe: If the society that needs such a police no longer exists - that would be something.

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