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Screenshot from SWR Twitter report on Stuttgart riot
Stuttgart

Stuttgart: Hundreds of rioters attack police

In street battles with the police described by one officer as a "war", dozens of violent immigrants severely damaged downtown Stuttgart on Sunday night and injured several police officers.

Published: June 22, 2020, 9:13 am

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    “The situation is completely out of control,” said a police spokesman on Sunday. Although relative calm returned on Monday according to the police, some 40 shops were damaged during the rampage. Nine shops were ransacked and looted. Emergency services were also attacked by the immigrants. A total of 280 officers had to be deployed.

    For this purpose, forces from all over the state had been sent to the state capital. The police are now getting an overview, said a spokesman. “We are now trying to find out what that was and what it could become.” During a drug-related crime check, many of the “youths” ganged up against the police.

    Stuttgart police chief Franz Lutz commented in daily BILD: “It is an incredible event that has left me stunned and which I have not seen in the 46 years of police service that I have been through so far. It was an unprecedented dimension of open violence against police officers and massive property damage of looting in our city.”

    Around 500 people rioted, 19 police officers were injured and 24 people were temporarily arrested. According to the city’s police vice president, Thomas Berger, the perpetrators came from a “colorful mix” of many countries.

    Slogans like “Kill All Cops” were sprayed on walls and of the nineteen officers injured, one has been disabled.

    In a viral voice message deemed to be authentic, because in the background one can hear the police radio and the speaker, a police officer describes the situation, not mincing his words: “It is a miracle that there are no dead colleagues yet, because this is war. We’re really at war tonight. I’m not exaggerating.” Then he adds: “Only Kanacken.” The term is a derogatory German word for people from Turkey, Arab countries or Southern Europe.

    Video recordings on Twitter show immigrants kicking in shop windows or tearing paving stones out of the ground.

    Federal Chairman of the German Police Union (DPolG), Rainer Wendt, said: “Obviously, various groups from different milieus in Stuttgart felt encouraged to demonstrate their willingness to use violence with brutal force and high criminal energy.” And he further warned: “These excesses will be especially important in future in large metropolises, but then quickly show up in small towns.” The far-left German daily tagezeitung has characterized Wendt as a “populist” because he uses “law and order catchphrases”.

    This is quite clearly the emergence of a new left-wing terrorism in the wake of world-wide BLM protests, which the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution – the German domestic intelligence service – had previously warned of.

    Wendt continued to complain that senior politicians were complicit in creating this situation. “No one should be surprised if violent groups feel encouraged to let off steam in this way, when German politicians spend weeks engaging in ghost discussions about alleged structural racism in the police or police violence.”

    The SPD party leader had suggested that the enemies of the German constitutional state were in the police, a statement which has weakened the state and strengthened its opponents. Esken later relativized her statements after strong criticism.

    Many shops but also vehicles were damaged or even destroyed. In addition, the rioters looted stores with impunity. According to police, the riots started around midnight. For security reasons, the police remain present in the city center with a large contingent, said a police spokesman.

    Over the past few weeks there had been major clashes between mostly young people with an immigrant background and the police. This weekend, the mob then grew to several hundred people, according to the police. Among other things, the security forces were insulted as racists. The crowd had repeatedly accused the police of “conditions like that in the United States,” regional daily the Stuttgarter Nachrichten quoted a police spokesman as saying.

    Recently, the Stuttgart police had spoken of violent incidents at a demonstration. “Parts of the left scene cross obvious lines here, which we have never seen before in Stuttgart,” said a police spokesman at the time.

    While the system media in Germany tried to disguise the ethnic background of the approximately 500 protagonists of the street war night in Stuttgart, mentioning “people”, “young men”, “small groups” and “actors of the party and event scene”, the facts quickly surfaced.

    The trigger was a police operation at around 11:30 pm, which according to Thomas Berger escalated when they checked a “17-year-old German with white skin” for a drug crime. “Immediately” 200 to 300 people from the “party scene showed solidarity” and attacked the police massively and threw stones at them.

    Only the tabloid BILD broke through the Omerta specified in the press code, reporting that those detained were either foreigners or Germans with a migration background. On several videos circulating on social media, one can hear calls like “Fuck the System”, “Allahu akbar” and ” Sons of Whores” directed at the police. Mobs pounding police cars were also witnessed.

    According to BILD, twelve of the 24 provisionally arrested are foreigners, including people from Iran and Iraq, from Somalia and Afghanistan. They had come to Germany as “protection seekers” but ironically Germans now have to seek protection from them.

    AfD politician Martin Hess, who was formerly a police officer in Baden-Württemberg, told German daily Die Welt: “Ten years ago, riots like last night would have been unimaginable. But the failure of the Green-Black coalition’s security policy and the anti-police campaign by left-wing politicians and journalists who suspect our police officers of racism, are having a massive impact on the police at work.” Stuttgart’s mayor Fritz Kuhn, is a member of the Green party.

    Interior Minister of the state, Thomas Strobl, said the rioters from the “party scene” were “emotionally” inspired by George Floyd protests: “It could also be that the images that have reached us from America have led to a certain aggression.”

    Just recently, police officers took a knee at a Black Lives Matter rally in Cologne. For days, waves of admiration and approval on social networks from leftists surfaced.

    The Black Lives Matter rally in the Deutzer shipyard in Cologne on June 6, in which at least 10 000 protesters took part, was held under the motto “America We See You” following the death of American George Floyd.

    “Every police officer is caught between his humanity and his duty,” said Jana Schubert of the Cologne police. Inappropriate toughness during operations is a topic that police officers are also dealing with in Germany today she added. “It was a very emotional, spontaneous action,” said Schubert.

    But not everybody agreed. “Police officers, like all officers, have to maintain moderation and restraint in political activities. This moderation requirement is closely related to their duty of neutrality,” explained Jürgen Köhnlein, Bavarian State Chairman of the German Police Union (DPolG).

    “Regardless of the motivational situation of the colleagues shown in the picture, their gesture has meanwhile been used for a political discussion. The discussion that has arisen has resulted in exactly what should be prevented. The neutrality of the emergency services is questioned. For me, this is a critical moment.”

    He said when in uniform, police officers are strictly prohibited from making political statements.

    The AfD politician Beatrix von Storch denounced the kneeling, along with the demand that the police end their self-degradation.

    “The matter is being investigated at the Cologne Police Headquarters with regard to the neutrality requirement of the police,” said the Interior Ministry of North Rhine-Westphalia. “Basically, the police in North Rhine-Westphalia attach great importance to the neutrality of officers who intervene and in every respect. This applies not only to assemblies but to all police intervention measures,” said a spokesman for the ministry.

    But when questioned by idowa, the Cologne police declined to say whether there would be disciplinary proceedings against the kneeling police officers.

    In the meantime, pictures of kneeling police officers from a BLM demo in Basel have also appeared. It is still unclear what consequences the local authorities will draw from this.

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