Horst Seehofer and the police: Clear yes and no to the racism study

Confusion over the racism police study: Vice Chancellor Scholz announces that there will be one. Interior Minister Seehofer sees no new stand

One thing is certain: the study is coming. Only what should be in there is not yet certain Photo: image

BERLIN taz | It is an unusual practice for the Finance Minister and Vice Chancellor to announce that the Minister of the Interior will commission a controversial study on racism in the police force. That is exactly what Olaf Scholz did on Monday. “There will be a study. We’re still thinking about what to call them, ”said the SPD chancellor candidate in a WDR podcast. The background: The SPD and also the Greens, FDP and Left are calling for a scientific study on racism in the police in view of the threats made by NSU 2.0 against lawyers and left-wing politicians, as well as a large number of right-wing extremist chat groups among police officers.

At the beginning of June, after the demonstrations against racism and police violence in the United States, SPD leader Saskia Esken said: “In Germany, too, there is latent racism in the ranks of the security forces, which must be recognized and combated by measures taken by the internal leadership.” CSU interior minister Horst Seehofer has been vehemently rejecting this idea for months. Scholz’s announcement was therefore seen as a surprising change of course.

Horst Seehofer doesn’t seem to want to know anything about that. He was surprised by the announcement, said the CSU man on Tuesday. There is nothing new: “What I said applies.” According to Seehofer, the study should be based on the proposals of the Police Union (GdP). The focus should be on violence against police officers and their everyday lives. The study, which will be carried out under the wing of the Minister of the Interior, aims to investigate “the changed framework conditions of police work”. According to Seehofer, an advisory board will be set up for this study, which will include sociologists as well as the vice-federal chairman of the GdP, Jörg Radek. According to the GdP proposal, the study should also investigate why “sometimes prejudices against certain social groups” become entrenched among individual civil servants, according to the GdP in September.

There will be “no study of the police that is directed against the police with allegations and allegations,” assures Seehofer. The police are wrongly under general suspicion. “More than 99 percent of the police are on the basis of the constitution,” said the CSU minister, without revealing where this number comes from. Regarding new reports about right-wing extremist chat groups in the Berlin police, Seehofer said that one had to be careful not to turn “suspected cases into proven cases”.

Seehofer: “I have a clear line”

The interior minister quoted statements from the GdP that the “tone towards police officers” had become more aggressive. Racism has become a “normal accusation” that police officers are confronted with on a daily basis. He repeated several times that there would be no study of racism or right-wing extremism in the police with him. Nevertheless, he is striving for a unanimous position in the grand coalition on this issue.

At the end of the press conference, Seehofer assured: “I have a clear line.” That will also be understood by the public. A spokesman for Olaf Scholz told the taz, however, that he was confident that there would be a study on racism.

An internal paper by the Ministry of the Interior on the police study states: “Our police officers must not be left alone with their experiences. There is no tolerance for extremism, racism and anti-Semitism. ”The planned study should investigate, according to the somewhat cloudy formulation,“ how this claim can also be lived in the future ”.

At a meeting in the Chancellery on Monday – in addition to the police study – other arrangements were made: at the insistence of the SPD, the term “race” should be deleted from the Basic Law. In addition, at the insistence of the SPD, there seems to be a consensus on the establishment of an anti-racism officer. More details, such as the equipment, an appointment or the relationship with the anti-Semitism officer in the Ministry of the Interior, are not yet known.

For this, according to the internal government deal, the Union is pushing through with the demand for more powers for the security authorities. The Office for the Protection of the Constitution, the Federal Criminal Police Office and the police should be able to play suspicious Trojans on mobile phones in order to record messages and calls via apps like WhatsApp. The SPD was strictly against it for a long time, its no had become quieter under the impression of the attacks in Hanau and Halle. In addition, children’s rights are to be anchored in the Basic Law.

The parliamentary manager of the left-wing parliamentary group, Jan Korte, describes the coupling of more Trojans and the possible racism study as a “dirty deal at the expense of fundamental rights and freedoms”. He shows the “misery of the SPD, which Seehofer approved the full program with minimal concessions”. In a “situation in which the population has to forego freedoms that are otherwise self-evident”, it shows a “shameful ignorance” to equip secret services with new surveillance instruments.