North Rhine-Westphalia police are investigating a further 16 references to right-wing extremist or racist statements in their own ranks. NRW Minister of the Interior Herbert Reul (CDU) reported this to the Internal Committee of the State Parliament on Thursday.
Five police officers from North Rhine-Westphalia were spotted with right-wing statements in the internet forum “net4cops”. According to a preliminary assessment, these are not relevant under criminal law, but under disciplinary law.
It was not until Thursday that another officer from the Essen police headquarters was suspended. His case has nothing to do with right-wing extremist content in chat groups.
In this complex, the number of suspected officers has now increased by another 31. 150 officers from the Bochum research group “Parabel” investigated the suspicions against their colleagues. On September 16, during the searches for five chat groups with right-wing extremist and racist content, more than 200 electronic storage media with a volume of nine terabytes were seized.
“Anyone who is not on the constitution has no business with us in the police force,” said Reul. The incidents put the police in the worst possible light. “For the majority of police officers who keep their oath on the street every day, it’s hard to bear.” Yet it is right to act ruthlessly against the others. “Such statements are the breeding ground for hatred and exclusion in our society,” said Reul. He had sent an e-mail about this to all 56,000 employees of the NRW police.
The opposition of the SPD and the Greens demanded an independent, scientific investigation of the situation. Reul has so far rejected this, however, SPD MP Hartmut Ganzke criticized. “You know that such extensive studies can take three or four years,” said Reul. “I want to make changes now and as quickly as possible.” However, he does not reject scientific research in this area.
100 suspected cases since 2017
Since 2017, a total of 100 employees of the police of North Rhine-Westphalia have been suspected of racism or right-wing extremism, Reul announced. There are also four cases at the Home Office. 71 of the proceedings have not yet been completed.
In the 29 completed procedures, eight disciplinary and labor law measures were imposed. In the other cases, the allegations were either not confirmed or barred. The figures include the procedure for right-wing chats in Mülheim / Ruhr.
Eight proceedings were initiated because of the proximity of the so-called Reichsburgers, 84 because of a right-wing extremist suspicion against police officers. Police personnel are involved in eight suspected cases. (dpa)