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Systemic racism in Germany condemned as Kenyan family accuses Chemnitz police officers of brutality

Investigations are underway after a Kenyan family in the eastern German city of Chemnitz accused police of brutality.

Mark Kitau and Jackline Nadler said they were brutalised by police officers during their son’s birthday celebration in their apartment on 31st January 2021.

During the party, a neighbour called police because of the noise from the apartment. Police officers went twice to the apartment. During the first inspection, the officers found loud music and entered the apartment with the consent of the family to determine the identity of the people present, the Chemnitz police told MDR SACHSEN.

Jackline Nadler allowed six police officers into her apartment to prove that only the number of people permitted under the Corona Protection Ordinance was in the apartment.

The situation however became complicated when the officers returned to the apartment for the second time. Nadler told MDR SACHSEN the officers were very aggressive and yelled at them for no reason. Police officers claimed the Kenyan lady was heavily drunk. While admitting that she had taken alcohol, she rejected the claims that she was drunk.

Mr Joseph Kamau Kimani, the Chairman of Rafikis am Main e.v.
Mr Joseph Kamau Kimani, the Chairman of Rafikis am Main e.v.

Nadler said she asked the police officers to leave their apartment so they could continue with the celebration but they refused to do so.

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Nadler told MDR SACHSEN that the officers brutally handcuffed her without telling her why and pushed her daughter out of the way.

As the officers were taking Nadler out of the apartment to head to the police station, her husband Kitau who was following her said the police officers kicked him several times. The officers have denied touching him.

When they got to the police station, Jackline Nadler claimed that she was forced to undress in the presence of male officers while being searched. “I had to strip completely naked and there were men there,” MDR SACHSEN quoted Nadler to have said.

In a statement, Chemnitz police confirmed that investigations had been initiated following a police operation in which the deployed officers appeared aggressive, made derogatory or even racist expressions and ultimately injured two people.

In the statement, the police said that “the clearly drunk woman had to be taken into custody” after the officers noticed considerable noise in an apartment in Chemnitz.

According to the police statement, the search of the persons concerned was carried out in accordance with the existing regulations in the detention room by two officers.

After the woman complained of pain, an ambulance was called to take her to the hospital for an examination, the police said.

“There was no evidence of injury to the man on the day of the incident. When the officers left the location at the apartment, the victim’s husband ran down the stairs himself,” the police statement said.

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The statement added that in the course of the criminal investigation, the allegations will be further examined and then submitted to the public prosecutor’s office for assessment.

Joseph Kamau Kimani, the Chairman of Rafikis am Main e.v., a socio-cultural association of Kenyans in Frankfurt, condemned the police brutality saying that if such a thing had happened to a German family in a Kenyan town, German authorities would have raised a red flag against Kenya.

Rafikis am Main e.v., aims at preserving and promoting the rich Kenyan heritage in Germany.

“Chemnitz is known to be a right-wing zone, migrants especially Africans have suffered physical attacks to some extent life threatening for years,” Mr Kimani said. “This modern-day racism has to stop, we are in the 21st century. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) demos after George Floyd’s death costed Donald Trump his second term. Therefore if we keep pushing and exposing police brutality, with the support of Kenya Embassy in Berlin, we can make a change.”

He appealed to all Africans in Germany to try their best to stay out of trouble. “Always take a second thought whenever our kids are involved and remain calm,” he advised.

Ms Delia Innoma Mayrschofer
Ms Delia Innoma Mayrschofer

A similar call came from Delia Innoma Mayrschofer, a prominent Nigerian media personality and businesswoman based in Munich, Germany, who said: “My honest advice to anyone who is facing police brutality in Germany is, please never go into argument with them. Allow them to do their job without interfering or trying to prove right. If possible, avoid anything that will get police to your house. Especially if you are living with racist neighbours.”

She advised all to obey the law. “The law states that you don’t have to play loud music after a certain hour of the night, please obey it, especially in this pandemic time when so many people are depressed.”

She added: “Police in Germany are capable of becoming harsh and racist if they have the opportunity. So, please avoid them.”

By Stephen Ogongo