by Norbert Pütter
Traditionally, police brutality is defined as the excessive or illegal use of physical force on the part of police officers. Based on this definition, the article discusses various approaches to arriving at an understanding of the causes for and the individual or situative, sociological, institutional as well as legal and political factors which play a role. Based on this approach it becomes apparent that police brutality can only be adequately understood if the context in which such activity takes place is adequately taken into consideration. Physical brutality is shown to be only one of several intimidating police practices.
Police Brutality and Sanctions – The Problems of Keeping Count
by Martina Kant
Currently, little is known about the scope of police brutality and what sanctions were actually imposed on those found to have perpetrated such activities. The article examines the material that is available and discusses some of the possible reasons for the lack of specific information on police brutality.
Police Brutality Toward Foreign Nationals and the Prospects for Legal Redress
by Anja Lederer and Heiner Busch
Foreign nationals living on German soil become the victims of police brutality more than any other social group in society. Their prospects for seeking redress for their grievances in the courts are highly limited. Among the numerous reasons for this is their usually precarious legal status, the low credibility attached to their testimony by judges and the police practice of filing counter-charges. Most lawyers with experience in this field generally consider it a success if police charges against their clients are dropped in the course of proceedings.
The Hamburg Police Commission
by Rolf Gössner
Civil rights groups in Hamburg have long raised the demand for an independent police commissioner. Subsequent to a major police scandal in that city, local politicians finally decided to create such a commission, albeit in a very much watered down version of the initial demands. The key weakness of the commission which took up its work two years ago is that none of its members receive any compensation whatsoever for their work.
The Police Commissions in the British Occupation Zone
by Kurt H. G. Groll
From 1946 until 1953, instruments for the democratic control of local police forces were introduced for the first time in history in the British occupied zone of Germany (or, more accurately, the corresponding German „Länder“ (states). The author examines the potential, performance and weaknesses of the commissions created by the British occupation administration in the municipality of Wuppertal.
Police Brutality and Means of Redress in the UK and France
by Heiner Busch
This brief glance beyond Germany’s borders indicates that the problems of police brutality and the lack or insufficient public control differs only little from the situation in Germany. Both in France and Great Britain we are confronted with police brutality, both in police controls in the streets as well as in custody. In Great Britain, in contrast to France, a Police Control Authority does actually exist, but civil rights organisations complain that it is not really independent.
Fatal Police Shootings 1999
by Otto Diederichs
The federal conference of Germany’s ministers of the interior has resorted to a statistic trick in its attempt to reduce the number of fatal police shootings. It simply does not count any fatal police shootings which were unintentional. The still unpublished ministerial statistics total four shootings less than the total recorded by the CILIP staff for the past year.
Stability Pact for South-eastern Europe
by Anastassia Tsoukala
The stability pact signed last June is also an umbrella for several projects in the field of international police co-operation. In multilateral projects such as the Southeast European Co-operation Initiative (SECI), or the Adria Conference dominated by the European Union, there is a competitiveness between the „;helpers“. For this reason, Italy has opted for bilateral co-operation projects such as that between Italy and Albania.
New Police Legislation
by Fredrik Roggan
Once again, a wave of new police legislation is being introduced. Many of the new regulations deal with authorising police controls where there is no due cause or specific suspicion, for video surveillance of public areas and massive wire-tapping.