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10 German police officers suspended after raids in extremism scandal

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Ten police officers have been suspended following the discovery of another online chat group used for sharing right-wing extremist content in the German state of North Rhine Westphalia, a member of the local government said on Tuesday.

The messages disseminated on the WhatsApp group, in which there were 15 participants, are thought to amount to criminal behaviour, State Interior Minister, Herbert Reul, said.

He described the content as “highly xenophobic and inhuman.”

This is only the latest such case to emerge among the police force in Germany’s most-populous state.

The number of employees in North Rhine Westphalia security authorities facing similar allegations has grown to 191 since the first right-wing chat groups were discovered in September.

Reul gave examples of the kind of content shared in the most recent cases, including a picture of an Arab person seen through the sight device of a rifle, and one comment on the March 2019 Christchurch shootings saying, “Too many misses.”

Countless Hitler pictures and anti-Semitic comments were also sent.

Raids took place early on Tuesday in connection with the revelations.

Seventeen locations were searched in the western state, including in the cities of Essen and Muelheim an der Ruhr, and 606 storage devices were seized.

Some 160 police officers took part in the raids.

Nine suspects are facing charges of hate speech and using symbols banned under the German constitution.

The WhatsApp group was set up back in 2015 and used by police officers who were members of a bowling group.

Edited By: Fatima Sule and Abdullahi Yusuf
(NAN)

Fatima Sule

Fatima Sule: NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.ng. Disclaimer.

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