Several officers of the Osnabrück police are suspected of having shared right-wing extremist content via messenger services – four apartments in Emsland and the county of Bentheim were searched on Tuesday.
According to the Osnabrück Police Department, three active and one retired police officers are believed to have exchanged numerous pictures and videos, some with references to Nazi symbols and xenophobic depictions. The active officers have been suspended from duty. According to the investigators, there is currently no common chat group or network.
“If the suspicion against the officials is confirmed, we will hold them accountable with all severity and consistency,” said Lower Saxony Interior Minister Boris Pistorius (SPD). “Right-wing extremist officers have no place in the police.”
The investigators had become aware of the pictures by chance. Investigations are underway against two other officers in the Osnabrück Police Department, but the allegations are obviously completely different. During the evaluation of the cell phone by one of the two officers, the investigators got to the pictures. The policeman whose cell phone was evaluated was also suspended.
According to the current status, a total of several hundred pictures and videos with suspicious content had been shared at irregular intervals. These were sent directly to those involved. The officers are neither trainees nor members of special forces – they were all experienced officers in the police service, as the management further announced.
In another case, five officers and a colleague, most of them from the 1. Revier in Frankfurt am Main, shared right-wing extremist messages in the WhatsApp group “Itiotentreff”. In the course of the investigation, so many similar suspected cases of right-wing extremist police became known that the Hessian Interior Minister Peter Beuth (CDU) no longer ruled out a right-wing network in the Hessian police.