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Woman, 33, dies after being shot during police operation in Berlin

A woman has died after being shot during a police operation in the Friedrichshain area of Berlin on Friday.

Woman, 33, dies after being shot during police operation in Berlin
Photo: DPA

According to local media reports, police were called out to a shared apartment in Grünberger Straße, in the capital's popular Friedrichshain district, at around 4am on Friday morning after reports that a 33-year-old woman allegedly threatened her flatmate with a knife.

When the arriving officers tried to get into her room, the 33-year-old woman is said to have resisted, and then confronted them with the weapon.

An officer then shot the woman in “the upper part of her body” during the operation, the public prosecutor's office and the police said.

Emergency services were called; however, the woman died in the apartment.

“She is said to have met the officers with a knife, whereupon the police officer used his firearm,” the statement said.

The police union (GdP) and the public prosecutor's office said the incident would be probed.

“We are currently assuming that our colleagues have behaved correctly,” said the union. “Of course, this deployment will also be closely examined.”

Meanwhile, a 25-year-old man was reportedly shot dead by police at an apartment on Tuesday in Hohenschönhausen, eastern Berlin.

The incident happened in his apartment in Ribnitzer Straße. The man is said to have attacked officers with a knife.

An investigation into what happened is underway.

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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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