Berlin clubs 'put police on guest lists' after wild G20 party causes scandal
Berlin's police department said Wednesday that its officers were "only human" after they were expelled from the security force for next week's G20 summit after hardcore partying that earned them hero status from the German capital's clubbing scene.
The embarrassing incident bolstered the force's credibility on the street, with an association representing Berlin's world-renowned clubbing scene issuing a statement to celebrate the officers.
"Barely 10 days before the meeting of the world's political elites, Berlin's operation team has fulfilled its function as role models and organised a great party - traditionally costumed in uniforms, with music and excessive live performances," Berlin's Club Commission said.
In a tongue-in-cheek congratulatory message, the commission's spokesman Lutz Leichsenring promised: "We're holding a few guest tickets for you in the club of your choice on your return."
But Berlin’s political class failed to see the funny side. Berlin Senate spokeswoman Claudia Sünder said “we are shocked," according to Tagesspiegel.
The capitol’s interior minister Andreas Geisel called for an internal inquiry, saying "if the accusation turns out to be true, the police must look into this thoroughly.”
"Yes, we partied," the Berlin police acknowledged in a statement on Facebook, with the slogan "human".
Two officers were celebrating their birthdays, they said, and their colleagues decided to throw a party inside the fenced-off grounds of their temporary container accommodation.
"They drank, danced, pissed and, yes, apparently also bonked, as our press officer put it so well," the police statement said.
But it said that "inside our uniforms are human beings" - young men and women who carry heavy responsibilities when on duty and are usually "very professional".
The Facebook post also sought to turn the unexpected attention into an opportunity to find new recruits.
"We invite you to get a personal picture of this professional work, and to convince yourselves that we are not party police, but rather we are the capital's professional police force," it said.
The department also added a postscript apology to colleagues from the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia, who shared the Berlin officers' accommodation but did not join the party that reportedly went on until 6:30 am.
Details of the officers' exploits made the front pages of Germany's biggest newspapers, while Twitter was abuzz with the hashtag #partypolizei.