Due to the german court ruling it is just as bad
to throw a cup of coffee to the ground
while saying „bull“ to a cop, two times,
as killing a person by burning him in a cell.

A comparison of german court judgments (2013-2014)
[auf deutsch]

A CUP OF COFFEE

Decision by: Lower Regional Court Würzburg, 8/10/2014
Accused one: Counter-demonstrator
Accusation: Damage to property and insulting a public official

Context:
During a right wing demonstration on the 1st of May 2013 in Würzburg, leftist counter-demonstrators are being stopped from getting through to the other demo with usage of truncheons by the police. Some time later the same day, one counter-demonstrator takes a plastic cup of coffee that is standing around and throws it to the ground. He calls a policeman standing near to him with the word „bull“. Later, it turns out that the coffee cup still contained coffee which was in possession of the insulted police man.

Judgment: Guilty of damage to property and of insulting an official
Fine: 60 daily rates (900,00 Euros)¹

CHARGE AND COUNTER-CHARGE2

I) Charge against policeman

Decision by: Public prosecuter’s Office Landshut, 21/5/2014
Accused ones: Two policemen
Accusation: Bodily injury caused by an officer of the law, failure to lend assistance

Context:
A person is experiencing a racist identity control by the police and afterwards is being brought to the next police station although his papers are valid. His companions wait for his release in the entrance area of the police station. During the waiting time, the policemen express racist insults and threats of violence („We talk german here“, „We don’t behave like monkeys here“). During the upcoming argument one of the waiting companions is being hardly pushed out the entrance door of the police station. Her head hits a site fence, which leads to a concussion as the later medical diagnose will show. Although she is injured and lying on the side walk, none of the policemen lends assistance.

Decision: Proceeding dismissed
Reason: The facts of the case cannot be cleared up anymore.

II) Counter-charge by policeman

Decision by: Lower Regional Court Landshut, 21/5/2014
Accused one: Woman that got injured by policeman
Accusation: Resisting bailiffs, trespassing
Context: See above; it is about the same case.
Decision: Guilty of resisting bailiffs, and guilty of insulting a public official
Fine: 60 daily rates (1.980 Euros)

RESIDENCY OBLIGATION
(RESIDENZPFLICHT)
3

Decision by: District Court Regensburg, 19/12/2013
Accused one: Asylum seeker
Accusation: Violation of limitations on the right of residence (residency obligation)

Context:
An asylum seeker uses the train to travel to several towns, and by that for a short time leaves the small region he is registered in. On his way he is facing several identity controls by the police. Consequently, he is being charged for four violations of residency obligation. Which means, he is charged for travelling.

Decision: Guilty of violation of limitation on the right of residence
Fine: 50 daily rates (250 Euros)

RINDERMARKT4

Decision by: Lower Regional Court Munich, 11/8/2014
Accused one: Hungerstriking asylum seeker
Accusation: Resisting bailiffs, insulting a public official

Context:
On the 30th of June 2013 at 5:00 am in the morning, the police storms the protest camp of asylum seekers at Rindermarkt in Munich. The protesting asylum seekers are at that time on dry hunger strike for already six days. Because of the sudden storming, the accused person, one of the hunger strikers, is being jerked out of his sleep, while the police officers are already inside all the tents and are starting to evict the camp violently. Later, he is being kept in police custody for seven hours, without any medical care. In front of the court, the wittnesses (policemen) do not agree about what he is supposed to have done.

Decision: Guilty of resisting bailiffs, and guilty of insulting a public official
Fine: 50 daily rates (250 Euros)

TENNESSEE EISENBERG5

Decision by: Constitutional Court, 26/6/2014
(Verification of the decisions of the Public Prosecuter’s Office Regensburg from 21/12/2009 and of the Public Prosecuter’s Office of the Higher Regional Court Nürnberg from 26/3/2010)
Accused ones: Two policemen
Accusation: Manslaughter, bodily injury

Context:
On the 30th of April 2009, Tennessee Eisenberg, holding a knife in his hand, gets killed by policemen with 12 gunshots. Seven of those hit him from behind. Alltogether it is 16 gunshots that are fired in his direction. Due to an expert’s report and due to a testimony of one policeman, Eisenberg did not constitute a danger anymore when he was still alive.

Decision: Proceeding dismissed
Reason: The accused ones acted in self-defence.

OURY JALLOH6

Decision by: Federal Supreme Court of Justice, 4/9/2014
(Verification of the judgment of the District Court Magdeburg from 13/12/2012)
Accused one: Team leader of the police station Dessau
Accusation: Physical injury resulting in death / involuntary manslaughter

Context:
On the 7th of January 2005, Oury Jalloh dies in a fire inside a prison cell in the police station Dessau. The asylum seeker from Sierra Leone is at that time, after being searched, with arms and legs fixed, on a matress from material that is hard to set on fire. Later, a post-mortem examination reveals several different fractures of the nasal bones and destroyed ear-drums. During the entire court proceedings, the court assumes that Jalloh has set himself on fire. In the first court proceeding the team leader of the police station and another policeman are aquitted. In November 2013, a new expert’s report about the fire comes to the conclusion that the fire could only burn the way it did, with 5 litres of accelerants. In a new court proceeding, the team leader is accused of having ignored several times the alarm system that was activated by the fire, and therefore having failed to lend assistance on time.

Decision: Guilty of involuntary manslaughter
Fine: 120 daily rates (10.800 Euros)


[1] The fine is calculated from the income of each convicted person (here: 60 daily rates multiplyed by 15 Euros, so: 60 x 15 = 900 Euros). This means, a person that has a higher income has to pay a higher fine for the same amount of daily rates.
This first case has not been published due to a lack of capacities. Usually, the courts only publish cases (sometimes), if they have already raised attention in the media beforehand.

[2] Report on this case.

[3] Further informationen on this court proceeding; at the moment, the case is at the constitutional court (on behalf of all other cases of residency obligation). (Information current on December 2014)

[4] Press release on the hearing on 14th of July; interview with the affected person about the eviction and about the court proceeding; Report on another court case concerning the same eviction.

[5] Press release on the statement of the public procecuter’s office; due to an insufficiently updated official website, we have to point to a Wikipedia page which is all the better updated and contains lots of links for further information.

[6] Further information on the official website of the Initative in Remembrance of Oury Jalloh.
The initiative is working on the clearing up of the murder of Jalloh since 2005 and has financed the newest expert’s report about the fire. They are now being criminalized for their activities. Here is a video report about the first day of the court proceeding against the initiative.

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