The police and their image: This isn’t Paw Patrol

The Hamburg police believe that gangsta rap is to blame for the poor image of the police among young migrants. not your own behavior.

Police patrol car with flashing lights

Racism as an annoying image problem? Patrol car of the Hamburg police Photo: Nikito/imago

Most likely, I’m not the only person who has stuck his head in the sand since New Year’s Eve. I’m trying very hard to stay out of the extremely arbitrary debate about migrant rioters, not wasting my time and energy on this loop of rehashed integration imperatives from the ’90s and ’00s. But yes, here I am two weeks later, walking past a Berlin CDU election poster that reads: “What criminals will soon hear more often: arrest warrants.”

One might think that it is progress that it only says “criminals” instead of “foreigners”, but basically it doesn’t have to be, because together with the slogans that have been circulating not only, but especially from the CDU for weeks, and the reference to the Offenbach rapper arrest warrant, the message works the same way. Quasi the “foreigners out” of the middle class. You want to be able to differentiate yourself from the far right to a certain extent.

The police union in Hamburg, on the other hand, completely shot the bird with its position paper. It is about the attacks on police and rescue workers on New Year’s Eve, in which, according to more recent figures, the majority of migrant young people were not involved, as was initially claimed, but figures are rather unimportant to this position paper. The union prefers to draw a direct connection between the music genre gangsta rap and the alleged willingness to use violence among its target audience, an accusation that is as old as the genre itself and that not only seems strangely out of time, but also seems to have fallen from heaven , when it could actually be about a firecracker ban, as it exists in almost every country in the world.

I have no idea what to drink

Point one in the said position paper even claims in all seriousness that the accusations of racism against the police formulated by “certain political circles and politicians” have damaged the reputation of the institution. The image of the police as an enemy is becoming entrenched among young people, not because racial profiling and police violence are institutional problems that the police have been unreasoningly and aggressively rejecting for years. But because this fact is publicly discussed. To put it bluntly: According to the union, the problem is not that black people are dying in police custody. But that Black Lives Matter draws attention to it and damages the image of the police. I have no idea what you have to drink for this argument to appear ready to be said and printed. And that of all times in a week when another black man died in police custody, this time in Braunschweig, under ominous circumstances.

Just the idea that racism is nothing more than an annoying image problem gives a deep insight into how the police see themselves. As if right-wing extremist networks within the institution that have come to light in recent years are not reason enough to at least be suspicious – which should not justify an attack on rescue workers. But the positions of the CDU and the police are not very interested in really clarifying the “events” of New Year’s Eve, but rather create a social climate in which integration-refusing teens are declared the bogeyman and gangsta rappers their false role models.

As if they were longing to be the hero they thought they were all their lives. There may be a lot of dogs around, but we’re not here for Paw Patrol, the animated series with the cute police animals who save the world. Perhaps Christian Democrats and security authorities should put their own role models and omissions to the test.

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