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POLICE

Gun-toting rapper causes major police op in Dortmund day after bus attack

A local rapper spread alarm through the Dortmund public on Wednesday by using a fake gun while shooting a music video on the city streets - a day after a terror attack on the Borussia Dortmund team bus.

Gun-toting rapper causes major police op in Dortmund day after bus attack
Police special forces. File photo: DPA

Special forces officers rushed to the scene on Wednesday, after several members of the public called the police to warn them that a man was driving around town toting a gun.

The rapper was using two cars and several imitation guns to shoot clips for a music video.

A video posted online by a member of the public showed heavily armoured special forces officers turn up at a scene where a sports car had been stopped. Two men were told to lie flat on the ground as police searched them.

“Just an everyday police check,” the man shooting the video observed, dryly.

The rapper was ordered to leave the area and faces charges over contravention of German weapons laws.

It is illegal in Germany to display replica guns in the public, in order to avoid confusion.

POLICE

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.

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