Shot 16-year-old in Dortmund: house searches by the police

There is movement in the investigation into the 16-year-old who was shot in Dortmund. The public prosecutor's office confiscated cell phones from the police officers involved.

protesting people

Protest against the police operation in which the 16-year-old Mouhamed Lamine Dramé was shot Photo: Ying Tang/imago

BERLIN taz | The public prosecutor's office in Dortmund searched the homes of five police officers who were involved in the operation in Dortmund. in which a 16-year-old was shot dead in August. The officers' cellphones were confiscated during the search. In addition, the service weapon of the police officer who had led the operation was secured.

On the afternoon of August 8, the supervisor of a youth center dialed the emergency number because 16-year-old Mouhamed Lamine Dramé was sitting in the courtyard of the center with a knife. According to witnesses, the Senegalese was crouching on the ground and pointing the knife at himself. Only a few days earlier, the refugee teenager had been under psychiatric treatment for suicidal thoughts.

The police arrived with twelve officers and tried to persuade the boy, using pepper spray and two tasers. In retrospect, it was now known that the irritant gas had passed its expiry date. It is still unclear why the electric shock devices had no effect. A police officer who secured the scene from the background finally killed the 16-year-old with several shots from a submachine gun.

So far, the public prosecutor's office has assumed that the youth was killed by an officer's submachine gun. According to the testimony of a witness, it is now being checked “out of extreme caution” whether the officer in charge used his weapon. This emerges from a letter from the North Rhine-Westphalian Ministry of Justice, which is available to the taz. The commander's service weapon is now to be examined for traces.

Chat histories are evaluated

The letter justifies the confiscation of the cell phones with a meeting between the officers and the chief of police, which took place two days after the operation. It is to be "assumed that the course of the operation was also discussed in this way." The assumption of the public prosecutor in Dortmund: The accused could then have exchanged views on WhatsApp or via SMS contact. That's why the chat histories are now being evaluated.

"The case is taking on more and more dramatic features," says Christina Kampmann, spokeswoman for domestic policy for the SPD in the state parliament of North Rhine-Westphalia. She expects "full transparency" from CDU Interior Minister Reul in clarifying the case. Shortly after the operation, Reul stood behind the police and defended their actions. He has now deviated from this position: "It has not yet been clarified whether mistakes were made in Dortmund, if so, which ones and who is responsible for them."

After initially only the supposedly sole shooter was investigated for bodily harm resulting in death, the investigations have expanded significantly in the past three weeks. The public prosecutor's office in Dortmund is now examining the accusation of manslaughter, and the officer has been suspended. In addition, four of his colleagues are under investigation.

A video of the operation should provide further information. The public prosecutor did not want to say who it came from. One thing is clear: Not from an official's body cam. All twelve cameras of the deployed police officers were switched off during the operation.

In addition, an audio recording of the emergency call is currently being evaluated. Because: The phone call continued throughout the entire operation. The public prosecutor's office hopes to answer what is probably the most important question in clarifying the danger posed by the 16-year-old shortly before his death. The death of the young man who fled made headlines nationwide. Shortly after the fatal operation, voices were raised that doubted the proportionality of the police action.

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