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Police recruit drew Swastika on colleague

Tom Bristow · 11 Sep 2014, 14:24

Published: 11 Sep 2014 11:29 GMT+02:00
Updated: 11 Sep 2014 14:24 GMT+02:00

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The 23-year-old, who has a migration background, was called a “foreign slut” in posts on the course’s Whatsapp messenger group. She endured the racist bullying while training to join the police in the western city of Aachen, North Rhine-Westphalia.

The woman, who has completed her training, is "fully integrated" into German society, a police spokeswoman told The Local on Thursday. But that didn't stop her becoming the target of a barrage of racist abuse. 

Police chief Dirk Weinspach said on Wednesday that a 19-year-old man had been suspend from the force  for “repeated insults and racist comments against a colleague”.

Weinspach said further suspensions among recruits on the course were possible and a commission had been set up to investigate the case. Dismissal proceedings have also started against the 19-year-old trainee.

The allegations have shaken Aachen’s police force, but Weinspach attempted to put a positive spin on the case by saying the suspended recruit had been reported by a fellow course member. "This is exemplary behaviour and exactly what I expect from a police officer," he said.

“We will consistently oppose any form of xenophobia or racist statements especially in the training programme,” Weinspach added.

“We really regret that during her training with the police she was exposed to such insults."

Other witnesses also came forward to confirm the reports.

The woman was abused on social media as well as on Whatsapp.

Fellow students, who began their training in September 2013, set up the Whatsapp group so that the 32 people on the course could chat among themselves. But rather than discussing their exams and police matters the group descended into a xenophobic forum.

As well as calling their course mate a “foreign slut”, investigators also found an image of a football daubed with Swastikas posted on the group.

Police recruits also sent each other photo montages insulting people with dark skin.

“Things have been discovered that are so heinous they can hardly be put into words,” one police source told the Rheinische Post.  

Story continues below…

Police also discovered that the suspended trainee posted photos and text on social media containing extremist right-wing views.

According to the Rheinische Post, investigators have gathered 10,000 pages of evidence documenting the abuse.

The lack of ethnic diversity in Germany’s police forces was exposed this week in a report which found ethnic minorities were massively underrepresented.

SEE ALSO: Police 'must do more' to reflect diversity

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tom Bristow (tom.bristow@thelocal.com)

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