Deadly operation in Dortmund: the commander's weapon confiscated

IIn the case of a 16-year-old refugee killed by police shots in Dortmund, the weapon of the officer in charge has now also been confiscated. The interior minister said Herbert Reul (CDU) on Thursday before the interior committee of the state parliament. A single witness testified that the commander had also fired. According to search warrants, the mobile phones of all five accused officers were also confiscated on September 14.

According to a written report by the Minister of Justice to the state parliament on Thursday, the commander's weapon was confiscated "out of extreme caution". One must investigate whether the cartridge cases seized could come from the weapon. So far, the investigators assume that the six shots came from the submachine gun of a young police officer who had been assigned as a security shooter. Four projectiles hit the 16-year-old, who died shortly afterwards in a clinic.

The cell phones were confiscated because, according to the Ministry of Justice, there was a “reasonable assumption” that those involved exchanged information via Whatsapp or SMS. Specifically, it is about a meeting with the Dortmund police chief two days after the fatal shots, i.e. on August 10th. The public prosecutor suspects that the police officers involved in the operation sent messages to each other afterwards and later. Therefore, the SMS and chat histories should now be read out.

The issue of the knife is crucial

Initially, the public prosecutor's office only initiated proceedings against the shooter and later expanded the investigation to four other officers, including the head of operations.

In the interior committee, the opposition probed Reul again on Thursday about the question of how the sixteen-year-old had held the knife in his hand. Reul insisted that he didn't know either and that the investigation was still ongoing. The question of the knife is decisive: the police had been called to the youth welfare facility because the refugee from Senegal had threatened to commit suicide with the knife in his hand.

According to the known state of the investigation, the police first shot the sixteen-year-old with pepper spray, then with two tasers. Neither of these worked, the teenager approached the officers with a knife in his hand. A media report on Monday said the 16-year-old only pointed the knife at himself and the ground. He did not have this information, Reul asserted.

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