In mid-June there were violent riots in Stuttgart. The police have since identified 39 suspects. The officials also want to clarify the question of the potential for violence. But with their actions they trigger violent criticism.
When investigating Stuttgart’s rioting night, the police also took a close look at the suspects’ surroundings and their family backgrounds – thereby triggering violent criticism across Germany.
The police confirmed on Sunday that, in individual cases, it is investigating at registry offices what nationality the parents of suspects are. The police headquarters explained that the task was to identify further perpetrators and to determine the living and family circumstances of the suspects already known. To call this “family tree research” is not correct.
Strobl: “Police work professionally and correctly”
Baden-Wurttemberg’s Interior Minister Thomas Strobl (CDU) defended the procedure as a matter of course in criminal proceedings. “The term ‘family tree research’ is out of place,” said Strobl. “Our police are professional and correct.”
The riots in Stuttgart would have shown a previously unknown potential for violence and escalation on the part of those involved. The measures for judicial and police reappraisal were also geared towards this. “And that is why all the circumstances that are important for sanctioning, but also for prevention, are included in the assessment.”
Stuttgart riot night: 39 suspects identified
In Stuttgart on the night of June 21, there were serious arguments. Rioters had broken shop windows and looted businesses. According to the police, 400 to 500 people were involved in the riot or watched. 32 police officers were injured. In the meantime, 39 suspects have been identified. 14 were in pre-trial detention, 6 further arrest warrants had been suspended, it was said.
A report by “Stuttgarter Zeitung” and “Stuttgarter Nachrichten” had said that the police wanted to do “family tree research”. Police President Franz Lutz announced on Thursday in the town council that the police would also conduct family tree searches for suspects with a German passport using the district offices.
“The police have our full backing for their information work, but not for questionable investigative methods,” said the domestic spokesman for the Greens parliamentary group, Uli Sckerl. FDP parliamentary group deputy Stephan Thomae called the procedure an “absurdity”. “We don’t know any kind of clan,” he said. “That disturbs me sustainably,” the SPD chairwoman Saskia Esken then tweeted.
The Green Bundestag MEP Konstantin von Notz wrote on Twitter: “Police pedigree research is the unspeakable consequence of the extreme right-wing postponement that it is relevant whether people who commit crimes are German or not / have migration roots or not.”
Left-wing faction leader Dietmar Bartsch told the editorial network in Germany: “Family tree research is pure racism and a scandal that must be stopped immediately.” The CDU said that they wanted to know whether the migration background of many perpetrators would be an indication of the violence.
Habeck: Family tree research is in no way acceptable
Greens party leader Robert Habeck told the “Tagesspiegel” that it is important to determine the background of the violent acts and to clarify. “We need to know how it came about and how this can be prevented in the future,” he emphasized. “However, if it is true that the Stuttgart police want to do ‘family tree research’ for this, it would not be acceptable in any way,” added Habeck.
A spokesman for the city wrote on Twitter on Sunday that the term was not part of the vocabulary of the city or the police. According to the taped recording of the council meeting, the police president “at no time” spoke of “family tree research”, said the police headquarters. Lutz explained at the council meeting that it was necessary for a criminal investigation to include all of the suspect’s personal circumstances.
Police want to research parents’ nationality
The identified persons are predominantly adolescents and adolescents, for whom prevention is paramount. “In order to be able to guarantee successful prevention work in the long term, tailor-made concepts are required, which take into account personal living conditions as well as a potential migration background,” emphasized the police headquarters.
According to the police definition, a German citizen has a migration background if one of the parents does not have a German passport. Of the 39 suspects identified so far, 24 had German citizenship, 11 of these 24 had a migration background, reports the “Frankfurter Allgemeine”.
Again with another 11 suspects, this is not yet certain, which is why the police researched the nationality of the parents, as Lutz justified. This information is not relevant under criminal law. (msc)
- presseportal.de: POL-S: Attacks on police officers and shops in the city center – background to the investigations of the suspects – audio recording of the council meeting
- faz.net: The word “family tree research” didn’t come up at all
In downtown Stuttgart, hundreds of people fought street battles with the police for hours on Sunday night. During the violent riots, the emergency services were thrown at them with bottles and stones, the police reported. In addition, shop windows were broken and shops were looted.
Teaserbild: © imago images/Eibner