Twenty-nine German cops have been suspended for sharing photos of Adolf Hitler and depictions of refugees in gasoline chambers on their telephones.
The officers additionally used far-right chatrooms the place swastikas and different Nazi symbols have been shared, officers in North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) mentioned.
NRW Interior Minister Herbert Reul mentioned it was a “shame for NRW police”.
It follows a number of different incidences of far-right extremism among the many German safety companies.
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More than 200 cops have been concerned in raids on 34 police stations and personal properties linked to 11 fundamental suspects. The officers are mentioned to have shared greater than 100 neo-Nazi images in WhatsApp teams.
Some of the suspects face fees of spreading Nazi propaganda and hate speech. Others are accused of not reporting their colleagues’ actions.
“This is the worst and most repulsive sort of hate-baiting,” Mr Reul mentioned, including that he anticipated the investigation to search out extra chats with offensive content material.
“I’m appalled and ashamed,” mentioned Frank Richter, the police chief within the metropolis of Essen the place many of the suspects have been based mostly. “It is tough to search out phrases.”
Mr Reul has now launched an investigation into the extent of extremism among the many state’s police.
“Right-wing extremists and neo-Nazis have completely no place within the North Rhine-Westphalia police, our police,” he mentioned, and the authorities needed to present a “crystal clear political profile” that rejected the far proper.
Germany’s police and safety companies have confronted accusations that they don’t seem to be doing sufficient to root out extremists inside their ranks.
In July prosecutors mentioned that they had arrested a former police officer and his spouse who’re suspected of sending threats to well-known figures of immigrant background, together with a number of ethnically Turkish lawmakers.
The scandal has already seen the Hesse state police chief Udo Münch resign after it emerged that police computer systems have been used to search out out particulars of a left-wing politician who later obtained one of many threatening emails.