Police target FC St. Pauli fans in ‘unacceptable’ pub raid

FC St. Pauli has asked Hamburg authorities to clarify a rough police operation on Saturday at a packed fan pub, magazine Der Spiegel reported on Wednesday. Fans have announced a demonstration set for Friday.

Police target FC St. Pauli fans in 'unacceptable' pub raid
Photo: DPA

A police unit stormed the Jolly Roger, a St. Pauli fan pub, on Saturday night, where some 100 people were celebrating a birthday party.

“Guests did not violently provoke police officers” during the incident, St. Pauli fan club “Ballkult e.V.” told the magazine on Tuesday.

“FC St. Pauli took note of reports of the police operation in the fan pub Jolly Roger with horror and great regret,” the team’s official statement issued on Tuesday afternoon read. The football club’s president Corny Littmann sent a letter to the Hamburg police department asking them to clarify the incident.

Tay Eich, a member of the FC St. Pauli board of directors, said the police operation was “totally unacceptable,” calling for it to be “clarified completely.”

Jolly Roger manager Stephan Delius watched the police operation from behind the counter. Within minutes, the bar was full of riot control gas. “The patrons fled in panic toward the bathrooms and the beverage storage area in the basement, with masked policemen carrying batons right behind them,” he said.

As one of 30 patrons in the basement, Ulrike Swadzba said she was “unable to get out.” We couldn’t get any air up there at the bar,” she added. At the end of the night, Ballkult e.V. reported “four knocked-out teeth, bad bruises, mass panic, as well as dozens of guests who threw up from the irritant gas.”

Hamburg police spokesman Ralf Meyer gave no reason for the internal affairs unit’s actions, saying “the matter concerns an ongoing process.”

He denied that the police operation was a revenge action by a Eutin police unit. “That is complete nonsense, particularly as many of the police officers involved in the operation were from Hamburg,” he said.

In March, a member of a Eutin BFE police unit sustained serious cuts in a street fight in front of the Jolly Roger between rioters and police following a second division derby against Rostock.

On Monday evening, 100 people involved in the incident, as well as witnesses and lawyers, met at the Jolly Roger to discuss how to proceed. In addition to establishing a fund to provide victims with medical and legal support, fans had planned a Friday demonstration to follow an FC exhibition game with first division Scotland team Hearts of Midlothian.

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German police under fire for using tracing app to find witnesses

German police drew criticism Tuesday for using an app to trace contacts from bars and restaurants in the fight against the pandemic as part of an investigation.

A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant.
A barcode used for the Luca check-in app to trace possible Covid contacts at a Stuttgart restaurant. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Marijan Murat

The case stemming from November last year began after the fatal fall of a man while leaving a restaurant in the western city of Mainz.

Police seeking possible witnesses made use of data from an app known as Luca, which was designed for patrons to register time spent in restaurants and taverns to track the possible spread of coronavirus.

Luca records the length of time spent at an establishment along with the patron’s full name, address and telephone number – all subject to Germany’s strict data protection laws.

However the police and local prosecutors in the case in Mainz successfully appealed to the municipal health authorities to gain access to information about 21 people who visited the restaurant at the same time as the man who died.

After an outcry, prosecutors apologised to the people involved and the local data protection authority has opened an inquiry into the affair.

“We condemn the abuse of Luca data collected to protect against infections,” said the company that developed the Luca app, culture4life, in a statement.

It added that it had received frequent requests for its data from the authorities which it routinely rejected.

Konstantin von Notz, a senior politician from the Greens, junior partners in the federal coalition, warned that abuse of the app could undermine public trust.

“We must not allow faith in digital apps, which are an important tool in the fight against Covid-19, to disappear,” he told Tuesday’s edition of Handelsblatt business daily.