berliner polizei

Police Kill Mentally Ill Suspect: Tasers?

Police on Tuesday, Jan. 31, shot and killed a 25-year-old man in Neu-Hohenschönhausen after responding to a call from the Feuerwehr about a mentally ill subject barricaded in his apartment.

Officers responded to the man’s apartment and heard him threatening to kill anyone who entered the apartment as well as himself with a knife, according to the Tagesspiegel. The police eventually decided to force their way into the apartment.

Once inside, they reportedly discovered he had already harmed himself. He then attempted to attack the officers, prompting three to fire at him. Emergency personnel were unable to revive the man, according to the paper.

The case sparked a release from Berlin’s police union because the officers on-scene had asked for help from the Spezial Einsatz Kommando, or SEK, the German equivalent of a SWAT team. However, the team was not available because it was busy with a raid on a mosque in Moabit.

“If people expect the police to master such situations, fight everyday crime, prevent crime, secure tons of demonstrations and stay ahead of terrorist attacks, then the necessary personnel must be made available,” union representative Steve Feldmann said in the release.

The fatal call also rekindled the endless discussion about the use of tasers in Germany. Their use is being tested in two districts in Berlin over the next two years.

The police in 2013 shot and wounded a mentally ill man in the Neptune Fountain at Alex and, in August 2016, another man in Hellersdorf. The last fatal use of a police weapon in Berlin was in September when they killed a refugee attacking another refugee over accusations of rape.


Photo thanks Daikrieg el Jevi via Creative Commons and Flickr.

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