German authorities sack 18 police officers for ‘shocking’ posts


The chat group existed from September 2017 to December 2021. Of more than 5,000 individual messages, at least 50 were anti-Semitic, racist or glorified violence. — Photo by Mike Powell on Unsplash

MAGDEBURG: The authorities in the central German state of Saxony-Anhalt have dismissed 18 police officers who, as police students, were allegedly involved in an online chat with Nazi, anti-Semitic, racist and pro-violence content.

“According to what we currently know, 11 of the 18 officers actively posted messages, videos and pictures with corresponding content to the chat group,” the state’s Interior Minister Tamara Zieschang said in the capital Magdeburg on Feb 15.

The chat group existed from September 2017 to December 2021. Of more than 5,000 individual messages, at least 50 were anti-Semitic, racist or glorified violence.

“The contents of this class chat have not only shocked me,” said Zieschang. “This class chat is a disgrace for the state police.” The content had come to light in the course of investigations into a former candidate in another matter, the minister said.

Criminal investigations had been launched against four of the 18 police officers for using symbols of unconstitutional organisations, incitement, and distribution of violent and animal pornography. – dpa

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