Police beat SPD politician in alleged racist attack

Police beat SPD politician in alleged racist attack
Photo: DPA
A young SPD party member was allegedly beaten and humiliated by police because he looked “Mediterranean,” daily Hamburger Morgenpost reported on Tuesday.

Two police officers are charged with bodily harm and false implication after assaulting Serkan Bicen, a member of the centre-left Social Democrats party in the city’s Altona district, during an identification check after a night out on early Saturday morning.

Bicen, who is of Turkish heritage, was out Friday night in the city’s Schanzenviertel district when the 21-year-old was stopped by the two officers and asked to produce his papers. “They told me there are always problems with Turks,” he said. “They wanted to see my ID and I simply asked why.”

When officers didn’t answer his question, Bicen said he reached into his jacket pocket to get his identification, and one of the officers suddenly punched him in the face.

“I was pulled down, handcuffs clicked and then they kicked me,” Bicen said. The officers then called for backup and brought the politician to the police station where they locked him in a cell, took his wallet and forced him to take his clothes off. “Then they found my SPD board member card and let me go immediately,” Bicen.

The young politician suffered facial contusions and went to hospital after he was released from the police station. Bicen said one officer defended his actions by saying the young man could have pulled a gun from his pocket, but he believes it was actually racially motivated.

“They only did it because I look Mediterranean,” he told the paper.

The case has been referred to the department for internal investigation. Police were not able to comment on an ongoing investigation.