Crime: hatred and hate speech on the Internet: Brauer investigators set the signal

Hate and hate speech on the Internet: Brauer investigators set a signal

The police have launched nationwide searches after a wave of hatred against the police on the internet. Photo: Sebastian Gollnow/dpa

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With 75 suspects it rings in the morning. They are said to have used “words like weapons” after the death of two police officers in the West Palatinate. The investigations continue.

With searches in 15 federal states, the investigative authorities sent a signal against hatred and hate speech on the Internet.

On Monday morning, police officers rang the doorbells of 75 suspects and confiscated 180 data carriers such as smartphones, notebooks and other digital devices. “When words are used like weapons, consistent state action is required,” said Rhineland-Palatinate Interior Minister Roger Lewentz (SPD) at the State Criminal Police Office in Mainz, which coordinated the nationwide search operation.

After the violent death of two police officers on January 31 in the Kusel district, the LKA set up its own “Hate Speech” investigation group. After the crime, there was above all a wave of sympathy, said Lewentz. “But we also had to look into the deep human abysses in so-called social media.” There had been “the most disgusting comments” in which the murder was celebrated and the victims made contemptible”.

Author half identified

According to the minister, 150 suspects are now being investigated in 172 cases of criminally relevant statements. In at least half of these cases, the authors have been identified, said the Vice President of the Federal Criminal Police Office, Jürgen Peter. The basis for identification is usually screenshots of the statements. After that, profiles with the same name were checked on other networks. After further research in freely available sources, the providers of Internet services were also written to. In some cases, they refused to provide information. The investigations continued.

Of the 75 searches on Monday, 32 were in North Rhine-Westphalia. There were eleven missions in Rhineland-Palatinate. The only federal state without a search was Saxony-Anhalt. According to the investigators, interrogations are also planned there. The results of the searches are now to be documented, processed and handed over to the respective public prosecutor’s offices in the federal states.

Suspects were affected between the ages of 13 and 67, 90 percent of whom are male. The age focus is on the 22 to 40 year olds, said LKA Vice President Achim Füssel. Most hate speech was registered on Facebook. This was followed by Tiktok, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram and Telegram. The authorities, who also follow up on so-called likes under hate speech, hope that the investigative pressure will have a preventive effect.

“Anyone who has not had a visit from the police today should not believe that they are already off the hook,” said the Koblenz Attorney General with a view to the ongoing investigation. The legal accusations mostly relate to the approval of crimes, the denigration of the memory of the deceased and the offense of insult.


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