Berlin police on Wednesday announced that it had raided apartments and rooms connected to five of its officers after it was found that they had shared racist and anti-government content in an online chat group with 12 members.
The officers were said to have distributed images and caricatures depicting racist, right-wing imagery as well as unconstitutional symbols.
The department said the operation had been “a success” and that evidence was currently being evaluated.
Right-wing extremism among police not just a problem in Berlin
Wednesday’s raids were spurred by information turned up during a prior ongoing investigation into one of the officers. Investigators suspected him of betraying of state secrets and discovered the chat group with its content and contacts while searching his cellphone.
The raids are part of a criminal investigation against the five officers on possible charges of sedition. It is being led by state prosecutors and the Berlin Police Department’s newly formed internal investigations unit, “Zentral” (Central).
Wednesday’s revelations are the latest in a series of incidents involving rightwing-extremist sentiment among Germany’s police — most recently departments in Hesse and North Rhine-Westphalia made headlines.