Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter’s abuser

Berlin police on Tuesday night shot and killed the father of a young girl at a refugee home as he tried to attack a man who allegedly sexually abused his daughter.

Police shoot dead father who attacked daughter's abuser
Police at the scene of the shooting in Berlin. Photo: DPA.

A 27-year-old man at a Berlin refugee home was accused of sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl. Witnesses said that the man lured the girl to a park near the home and then sexually abused her there.

Police responded to the report and arrested the man for sexual abuse. But after officers had handcuffed the suspect and were bringing him into a patrol car, a 29-year-old man – believed to be the girl’s father – ran at the suspect with a knife.

Witnesses said the 29-year-old yelled: “You will not survive this”.

Police said they shot at the father in order to prevent an attack. The 29-year-old died due to his gunshot wounds hours later at a hospital.

It is not clear how many of the officers shot at the man, and this will be clarified during an investigation into the use of firearms, which is standard procedure when a police officer uses their gun against someone in Germany.

Last year, ten people were killed by police in total across Germany, according to a recent media report. This was an increase on 2014 when seven people were killed.

A member of Die Linke (Left Party) in the German parliament revealed over the summer that there had been 128 cases of children being sexually abused at refugee homes across Germany in the first quarter of this year, according to Tagesspiegel. The children were reportedly abused by employees working at the refugee facilities, including security guards, as well as by people living there.

Politicians and NGOs like Save the Children have called for better protections for refugee children, including hiring more personnel trained in child protection issues, providing more gender-segregated showers, and organizing child care in better protected spaces.


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.