Generally, Berlin is an open-minded city. But, in recent weeks, the number of attacks with a racist motivation seems to have increased. The most recent ones were reported this past weekend.
Berlin, August 22nd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — On Saturday, the Berlin Police Department sent officers to a mall in the German capital’s Gesundbrunnen neighborhood. When they got there, security agents were holding a 32-year-old man who is suspected of racist violence. According to a young lady who works at a sports store there, the suspect came to the shop to try sneakers.
When the 21-year-old clerk offered assistance, he insulted her in a racist fashion and spat at her. Then he supposedly walked towards her with clenched fists. A man aged 25 who is a witness in this case tried to calm down the suspect by talking to him. As a result, the aggressive customer hit him. At this point, several customers at the store stepped in. When the police arrived, the suspect had a bump on his head. At this moment, he tried to attack the cops with fists. Of course, he was taken into custody, but released again later.
Investigations into hate crimes are the responsibility of the Berlin Police Department’s State Office of Criminal Investigations. The officers there deal with racism, antisemitism and similar forms of hatred. Depending on how grave the case is, suspects might be locked up until a judge decides what to do with them. In less serious cases, like this latest one, the culprits will be released after being questioned, but they should expect legal consequences.
This past weekend, another disgusting case of racist violence in Berlin was reported. Officers were called to a supermarket at Emmentaler Strasse in the Reinickendorf borough. A 34-year-old woman who had gone there to shop with her 15-year-old son told them she had been insulted by a man and a woman outside the shop. When she had told them to leave her alone, the suspect had punched her arm.
Now, her teenaged son stepped it. He was hit in the face by the man the police are looking for now. He and the woman he was with left the scene in a car, but not without threatening the victims. In this case, employees of the discount supermarket had to step in to stop the attack. It is unclear whether there is camera footage the police can use to identify the attacker or whether anyone remembered the suspect’s number plate.
Three weeks ago, a 25-year-old man told the police he had ordered a vehicle to the ‘S-Bahn’ train station Greifswalder Strasse. According to his statements, the driver insulted him in a racist way and refused to take him anywhere. Then, he sprayed irritant gas into his face. Now, the driver is wanted for insult and aggravated battery.
Experts believe that many incidents of this kind are not being reported to the police, meaning there might be a high number of unknown cases. Hate crimes should be reported. People of color, Jews, homosexuals, and members of other minorities should feel safe in Berlin. The sooner racists, antisemites, homophobic contemporaries and other haters are brought to justice the better.