Thematic Focus: Police in Everyday Life

Daily Policing – Access & Retreat: An Introduction
by Jenny Künkel and Norbert Pütter

Where and how do the police interfere in people’s everyday lives – and when don’t they? Whom do the police serve as resource, who calls the police? But also: where do they spring into action without being called, towards whom do they display a particularly high level of commitment? The outcome shows: the meaning of police in everyday civil life strongly depends onthe subject’s social standing.

Drugs and Police in Public Spaces
by Norbert Pütter and Jenny Künkel

In democratic societies, public spaces are formally open to all, regardless of status or wealth. Since the marginalized are particularly likely to spend their life in this public space, its regulation determines their ability to participate in society. The way open drug scenes are dealt with in Germany illustrates that for some, public spacesare being transformed into an area of repression.

Police During the Pandemic
by Alexander Bosch, Jan Fährmann, and Hartmut Aden

Police checks in a Berlin Park and the handling of demonstrations have shown that the police were overburdened during the lockdown, when notions of law and order were mobilized. It has become apparent how readily current legal principles were suspended.

Protecting Women From Violence
by Silvia Haller

Women’s shelters are spaces intended to protect women and their children from partnership violence. Their relationship to the police is not only shaped by the differing tasks assigned to social work and police. Often, the police lack knowledge of the dynamics of domestic violence.

Community Accountability as Alternative to thePunitive State?
by Marie-TheresPiening and Jenny Künkel

Police and prisons (re-)produce violence instead of ending it. Social movements are developing new means of conflict management, such as community accountability/transformative justice. They are counting on common responsibility rather than on the punitive state, but are reproducing power in and between communities. They are also structurally compatible with neoliberal self-responsibility, and remain limited to neighborhood or value communities.

Violence Work: The Policing of Black Asylum Seekers
by Aino Korvensyrjä

In recent years, there has been a substantial number of assaults on asylum seekers by private security employees in Bavarian refugee centers. This kind of security guard violence must be perceived in the context of everyday policing in big deportation camps, which is characterized by institutional racism.

Football as Testing Ground
By Angela Furmaniak

Football fans, especially Ultras, were and are involved in the protests against the new police laws in all federal states. No wonder: Ultras are already strongly affected by police measures. New techniques and police powers are often tried out on them.

Youth Protection between Repression and Protection
by Nils Zurawski

The Hamburg Youth Protection department is responsible for situations and locations where many young people meet:at the central train station or in parks,at protests or activities on New Year’s Eve. Everyday life in this department differs from the usual image of brutal police, but still is an ambivalent mix of protection and enforcement of the existing order.

Command &Control Centers: Gauging Everyday Routines
by Philipp Knopp

Command and control centers are hubs for coordinating police operations. Here, inbound emergency calls are processed, and deployments are coordinated. Observations in an Austrian center show how digital technologies are structuring the routines of police officers.

Non-Thematic Contributions

Suing the Secret Service
Interview with Marleen Neuling (by Lennart Mühlenmeier)

“We take issue with the systematically undemocratic behavior of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [Verfassungsschutz]”, says MerleenNeuling. She is suing the agency’s state office in Hamburg for denying her information on the data retained concerning her.

An 1980 Anti-Semitic Double Murder and Its Investigators
by Ronen Steinke

On December 19, 1980, the right-wing extremist Uwe Behrend murders Shlomo Lewin, the former chairman of the Jewish congregation in Erlangen, and his partner Frida Poeschke. Instead of investigating the surroundings of the neo-Nazi organization “Wehrsportgruppe Hoffmann”, the police search for suspects in the victims’ environment. Decades later, this kind of victim blaming repeats itself with the murders committed by the “NSU”.

Ad-busting, Police,andIntelligence Services
by Klaus Poster (soligruppe plakativ)

Police, intelligence services, and the military show allergic reactions towards manipulated advertising placards. The domestic intelligence (Verfassungsschutz) treats these forms of action as acts of violence. Even the Joint Terrorism Defense Center is addressing altered advertisements. Meanwhile, police departments are cracking down on them in questionable ways.

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