Violent attacks against German police have reached epidemic proportions, and Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door migration policy is to blame, official statistics show.
The Federal Criminal Police Office (Bundeskriminalamt, BKA) reported 36,755 attacks against German police in 2016 — or an average of 100 per day, a significant increase over previous years.
Violence — including verbal and physical assaults, and even murder — against police is rampant in all 16 of Germany's federal states. According to the BKA, the epicenter of the problem in 2016 was North Rhine-Westphalia (8,929 incidents), the state with the largest migrant population, followed by: Bavaria (4,930); Baden-Württemberg (4,355); Berlin (3,154); Lower Saxony (3,030); Hesse (1,870); Saxony (1,573); Rhineland-Palatinate (1,537); Hamburg (1,339); Thüringen (1,228); Schleswig-Holstein (1,237); Brandenburg (1,009); Saxony-Anhalt (899); Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (658); Saarland (521); and Bremen (486).
Preliminary data, recently leaked to German public radio, indicate that in terms of violence against German law enforcement officers, 2017 will be a record-breaking year. In Berlin alone, attacks against police this year are up 70% in Görlitzer Park, 35% at the Warsaw Bridge and 15% at Kottbusser Tor, according to the Berliner Morgenpost.
Official statistics do not reveal the source of the violence, but do show a spike in attacks against police since 2015, when Merkel allowed into the country more than a million migrants, mostly Muslim, from Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Anecdotal evidence corroborates claims by police that migrants are behind many of the attacks.
In Gelsenkirchen, for instance, two police officers stopped a driver after he ran a red light. The driver stepped out of the car and ran away. When police caught up with him, they were confronted by more than 50 members of an Arab clan. A 15-year-old attacked a policeman from behind and strangled him to the point of unconsciousness. In another incident, police were surrounded and physically assaulted by more than 60 members of an Arab clan.
Senior members of the Gelsenkirchen police department subsequently held a secret meeting with representatives of three Arab clans in order to "cultivate social peace between Germans and Lebanese." A leaked police report revealed that the clans told Police Chief Ralf Feldmann that "the police cannot win a war with the Lebanese because we outnumber them." The clan members added: "This applies to all of Gelsenkirchen, if we so choose."
In nearby Duisburg, a police officer asked a man to move his car, which was illegally parked. The man refused and began shouting at the officer. Within minutes, more than 250 people appeared at the scene and began harassing the police officer, who called for backup. More than 50 policemen and 18 police vehicles were required to resolve what had begun as a routine traffic procedure.
In Düsseldorf, 15 police officers were injured when they tried to break up an illegal rally organized by Kurds celebrating the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party or PKK. Police used pepper spray to restore order.
In Mülheim, around 80 members of two rival clans got into a mass brawl following a dispute between two teenagers. When police arrived, they were attacked with bottles and stones. More than 100 police, backed up by helicopters, were deployed to restore order. Five people were taken into custody but then released.
In Dortmund, more than 40 migrants engaged in a fight at a refugee shelter. When police arrived, they were "massively attacked" by the mob. Police used dogs to restore order.
In Bremen, a 25-year-old man was stabbed by a group of migrants in the Huchting district. When police arrived to investigate, they were immediately surrounded by a mob of between 30 and 40 men. Police used teargas and dogs to restore order.
In Fellbach, 60 migrant teenagers attacked police at the 70th annual Harvest Festival. Police described the youths as "exclusively German citizens with a migration background and other migrants." The youths were said to be engaged in "turf wars."
In Leipzig, an Iraqi man was stabbed and seriously injured during a mass brawl in front of a Kebab restaurant. When police intervened, the mob attacked them with bottles and stones.
In Naumburg, police confiscated the driver's license of Ahmed A., a 21-year-old member of a Syrian clan, during a traffic stop. Almost immediately, police were surrounded by a mob of other clan members. The police retreated. The mob then marched to the police station, which they proceeded to sack.
In Würzburg, a 17-year-old Afghan asylum seeker brandishing an axe and shouting "Allahu Akbar" seriously injured five people on a train. The assailant was shot dead by police after he charged at them with the axe. Green Party MP Renate Künast criticized the police for using lethal force.
Some police believe that Germany's politically correct judicial system encourages violence against them.
In Hanover, for example, a court handed suspended sentences to six members of a Kurdish clan who seriously wounded two dozen police officers during a violent rampage in Hameln. The court's ruling was greeted with anger and derision by police.
The case went back to January 2014, when a 26-year-old clan member, arrested for robbery, tried to escape from the magistrate's office by jumping out of a seventh-floor courtroom window. The suspect was taken to the hospital, where he died. Members of his clan subsequently ransacked the hospital, as well as the court, and attacked police with rocks and other projectiles; 24 police officers and six paramedics were injured.
The judge said he was lenient because the defendants witnessed the death of the 26-year-old and were traumatized. The judge also revealed that he had reached a deal with the clan, which among other effects prevented police from testifying in court.
Dietmar Schilff, chairman of the GdP police union in Lower Saxony, said that the ruling had left many police officers shaking their heads in disbelief: "All police forces expect protection and support from the state." He added:
"If we want to protect those who ensure public security, it must be clear that anyone who attacks police officers attacks the state — and has to fear appropriate consequences. It does not matter from which milieu the perpetrators come."
Observers surmised that the real reason for the judge's leniency was that he feared his family might be subjected to retribution from the clan.
Some municipalities are taking measures to protect police. In Mainz, for example, where violence against police has jumped by more than 50% since 2014, police are now being outfitted with bodycams to deter violence. In Bremen, police have been supplied with "anti-spit-masks" to prevent detainees from assaulting police.
In a bestselling book, German police officer Tania Kambouri blamed the deteriorating security situation on migrants who have no respect for law and order. In an interview with Deutschlandfunk radio, she said:
"For weeks, months and years I have noticed that Muslims, mostly young men, do not have even a minimum level of respect for the police. When we are out patrolling the streets, we are verbally abused by young Muslims. There is the body language, and insults like 'sh*t cop' when passing by. If we make a traffic stop, the aggression increases ever further, this is overwhelmingly the case with migrants.
"I wish these problems were recognized and clearly addressed. If necessary, laws need to be strengthened. It is also very important that the judiciary, that the judges issue effective rulings. It cannot be that offenders continue to fill the police files, hurt us physically, insult us, whatever, and there are no consequences. Many cases are closed or offenders are released on probation or whatever. Yes, what is happening in the courts today is a joke."
Freddi Lohse, the Vice Chairman of the DPolG German Police Union in Hamburg, said that many migrant offenders view the leniency of the German justice system as a green light to continue delinquent behavior: "They are used to tougher consequences in their home countries. They have no respect for us."