German police killed 7, wounded 31 in 2014

Statistics released on Friday show that the police killed seven people in 2014, slightly above the long-term average.

German police killed 7, wounded 31 in 2014
Police training with firearms. Photo: DPA

The figures, released by the Interior Ministers' Conference, also show that 31 people were injured in police shoot-outs.

In total police officers shot at civilians 46 times during the year. Most of these, 41 of the cases, were acts of self-defence. Six of the seven deaths resulted from acts of self-defence.

Because the police didn't always hit their targets, there were fewer injuries and deaths than overall incidents of shooting.

In one case a police officer shot someone dead while they were running away.

On average police shot at civilians once every eight days in 2014, slightly more regularly than the long-term average of once every ten days.

In 2014 there was also one bystander who was injured as a result of police fire.

The statistics from the Interior Ministers' Conference also show that in 2014 police used their weapons 10,157 times against animals, either because they posed a danger or because they were injured or sick.

In 46 incidents police also shot at objects such as doors and car tyres.

Police shooting trauma hits hard

A 2009 study by the policeman Oliver Tschirner shows that police officers who have used their weapons against civilians regularly suffer acute trauma.

For his Masters thesis at the Police College in Münster, Tschirner showed that only a third of officers who have killed someone in service make a quick return to regular duty.

One third eventually eventually return but end up performing a desk job. The other third are seriously traumatized and require therapy over years.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

The German government says it is in talks over further compensation for victims of the attack on the Munich Olympics, as the 50th anniversary of the atrocity approaches.

Germany in talks on further payout for 1972 Olympics victims

Ahead of the commemoration in September, relatives of the Israelis killed have indicated they are unhappy with what Germany is offering.

“Conversations based on trust are taking place with representatives of the victims’ families,” a German interior ministry spokesman told AFP when asked about the negotiations.

He did not specify who would benefit or how much money had been earmarked, saying only that any package would “again” be financed by the federal government, the state of Bavaria and the city of Munich.

On September 5th, 1972, eight gunmen broke into the Israeli team’s flat at the Olympic village, shooting dead two and taking nine Israelis hostage, threatening to kill them unless 232 Palestinian prisoners were released.

West German police responded with a bungled rescue operation in which all nine hostages were killed, along with five of the eight hostage-takers and a police officer.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists  held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972.

An armed police officer in a tracksuit secures the block where terrorists held Israeli hostages at the Olympic Village in Munich on 5th September 1972. Photo: picture alliance / dpa | Horst Ossingert

The spokeswoman for the victims’ families, Ankie Spitzer, told the German media group RND that the amount currently on the table was “insulting” and threatened a boycott of this year’s commemorations.

She said Berlin was offering a total of €10 million including around €4.5 million already provided in compensation between 1972 and 2002 — an amount she said did not correspond to international standards. 

“We are angry and disappointed,” said Spitzer, the widow of fencing coach Andre Spitzer who was killed in the attack. “We never wanted to talk publicly about money but now we are forced to.”

RND reported that the German and Israeli governments would like to see an accord by August 15th.

The interior ministry spokesman said that beyond compensation, Germany intended to use the anniversary for fresh “historical appraisal, remembrance and recognition”.

He said this would include the formation of a commission of German and Israeli historians to “comprehensively” establish what happened “from the perspective of the year 2022”.

This would lead to “an offer of further acts of acknowledgement of the relatives of the victims of the attack” and the “grave consequences” they suffered.