Angela Merkel has denounced Monday acts “vile” as a result of urban violence and assault of police officers by gangs of young Stuttgart over the weekend that have shocked Germany.
“The scenes that occurred in the city centre of Stuttgart in the night from Saturday to Sunday are disgusting and should be firmly condemned,” said the spokesman of the German chancellor, Steffen Seibert.
The excitement is big in Germany after these acts of vandalism of a magnitude deemed “unprecedented” by the authorities.
The president of the Stuttgart region, Winfried Kretschmann, has spoken of “orgies of violence” against the forces of the order.
The head of State, Frank-Walter Steinmeier has called for the perpetrators of the violence to be ” prosecuted and punished with all the severity prescribed by law “.
“There goes the credibility of our rule of law “, added the Interior minister Horst Seehofer, who visited the site Monday.
The violence erupted after a police check for a case of narcotics. It then degenerated.
Up to 500 young people, mostly men, some high on alcohol content, according to the police, then led in small groups to the center of the city to cause chaos for several hours, looting stores and attacking the police forces and emergency on-site.
In total 25 people have been interpelées, including one teen, 16-year-old accused of attempted murder after a hit to the head a student already on land, which had protested against the excesses.
In the meantime, 16 have been released, the rest of the protagonists to be sent before a judge for rioting, serious bodily injury, assault against law enforcement, and aggravated robbery, said the prosecutor.
Aged 16 to 33 years of age, they are of different nationalities German, Croatian, iraqi, Portuguese and Latvian.
The police of his next state of 19 minor injuries in its ranks.
According to the authorities, the young people wanted to put the scene on social networks. They chanted slogans such as ” It happens finally something to Stuttgart !”.
“We have no elements that suggest that the acts were motivated by political or religious reasons “, stressed the head of the regional police, Stefanie Hinz.
It contradicted the allegations of the extreme right-wing party Alternative for Germany (AfD), that has quickly put the facts on the account of “migrants and antifa” far-left, according to a tweet from one of its leaders, Alice Weidel.
The police decision to target
These events come at a time when the German police has been strongly criticized recently, in particular within the social democratic party SPD, which is an ally of Angela Merkel to the government.
His co-chair Saskia Esken spoke of a “latent racism” in its ranks, in the wake of the debate following the death of the afro-american George Floyd, who was killed by a police officer at the end of may in the United States.
In a recent editorial titled ” all cops are unemployable “, the journal of berlin’s left – ” TAZ ” wondered what to do for the hypothetical case where the police would be one day dismantled. And to conclude: send them to the ” public dump “. The newspaper has since apologized.
The police union said it had filed a complaint against the author of the editorial. The minister of the Interior said to consider it also, considering that the speech “irresponsible” could have dramatic consequences.
Several police officers were also wounded on Saturday in clashes with the inhabitants of a building in Göttingen in central Germany, placed in quarantine after a hundred of them had been reported to be positive in the coronavirus.
In this respect, the criminologist Christian Pfeiffer has linked the violence of Stuttgart with the frustrations caused by the confinement of these last few weeks. “There are a lot of losers of the crisis” and ” anger accumulated “, he estimated in an interview in the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine, noting also that ” the people who were locked become more aggressive.”