by Thorsten Koch
The Federation of German Criminal Police (BDK) has criticized the fact that the Federal Minister of the Interior, Seehofer, has rejected a scientific study on racial profiling within the police. Federation President Fiedler said he did not understand the reasoning that unwarranted personal checks were prohibited in police practice. This is not conclusive, he revealed.
Fiedler spoke of a “disservice” and compared the rejection with the phobia of a patient who avoids the doctor out of feat of the diagnosis. The rejection by the Ministry of the Interior gives the impression that there is something to hide. This is not the case, Fiedler emphasized. A scientific investigation serves to build trust. Fiedler explained that if a study found difficulties with the police, the authorities subject of the investigation would have a self-interest in disclosing this and “taking an offensive approach”.
Finding out about the number of cases
Cases of racism are known to the police, but no one knows how many cases there are, Fiedler said. “The best way to get substance into the discussion is to entrust it to independent scientists.” Fiedler added: “I don’t understand the debate because I don’t know why we should be afraid of scientists.”
Mihalic, a member of parliament of the Green party and police officer by trade, emphasized that a study could identify the reasons for racial profiling. One needed reliable figures. That was in the sense of those among the police officers who carried out their duty perfectly.
Seehofer: apply measures first
The Federal Ministry of the Interior emphasized that racism within the police is an exception. A number of measures are planned to combat racism and right-wing extremism as a whole, the results of which are to be awaited. Seehofer compared the demands for a study on racism with a game: “We cannot play a wish-what every week.”
After measures agreed between the federal and state governments had been implemented, it was possible to think further about which additional measures are necessary. Criticism of the police is partly a slander, Seehofer said. There is no structural problem. “Zero tolerance” applies in the public service, Seehofer added.