WHAT TO DO IF YOU WITNESS POLICE BRUTALITY
- GET HELP! Don’t go to a Demo alone. If someone is arrested or detained contact EA Berlin for emergency legal aid. >> EA Berlin: 030/692 2222
- RECORD IT! If you have a feeling that something is about to go down, focus on identifying details like number plates inhorizontal (sideways) mode.
- KNOW THE LAW! You can film the police, but you can’t disrupt them or get too close, and you have to say that you won’t publish without consent. ‘Ich werde keine Bilder veröffentlichen.’ If you don’t, they can take your camera.
- SAVE THE VIDEOS for initiatives likeKOP and lawyers of the victims.KOPcan also inform you about publishing by blurring the faces first. >> KOP: 0179/5441790
- ASK other people present to be witnesses and get their contact details.
IF POLICE STOP YOU
- ASK if you are being detained and if you can leave. ‘Darf ich gehen?’. If they say you are not being detained then you are free to leave. If they say you are being detained ask WHY. ‘Warum kontrollieren Sie mich?’
- THINK before answering. Other than giving your name, date of birth and contact details, you don’t have to answer any other questions during a control stop.
- SPEAK UP against being searched because Silence = Consent. If they want to search you, say ‘nein, damit bin ich nicht einverstanden.’
- REMEMBER that in ‘Gefährliche Orte’, the Police can search you without your consent at Alexanderplatz, Hermannplatz, Hermannstrasse, Rigaer Strasse, Kottbusser Tor, Görlitzer Park, and Warschauer Brücke.
- PLAN AHEAD. The Police can detain you or take you to a police station to prove who you are. If you don’t want this to happen, carry ID with you at all times.
IF POLICE ARREST YOU
- ALERT the people around you and tell them to call EA Berlin: 030/692 2222.
- DEMAND the reason for the arrest and the Police identification numbers.
- PHONE. You have the right to a free interpreter and two successful phone calls (until they pick up). >>Emergency Legal Aid: 0172/325 5553
- WAIT to speak with a lawyer. It’s your right to remain silent. By refusing to give evidence you cannot harm yourself or others. Just say: ‘ich sage nichts.’
IN POLICE CUSTODY
- INSIST on a detailed listing if they confiscate your belongings or money.
- REFUSE to have your photograph, fingerprints, or DNA samples taken. Ask the police to record your objection, even if they proceed to take these samples.
- DON’T SIGN ANYTHING! Officers sometimes threaten with deportation or promise your release if you make a statement. Don’t believe them! They don’t have to tell you the truth, but anything you say or sign can be used against you later.
AFTER THE POLICE RELEASE YOU
- SEE A DOCTOR. If you have been beaten or abused in custody, ask the doctor to make a note of your injuries. If you can’t see a doctor, take pictures of your injuries.
- RECORD exactly who did what, when and where? How many people were involved? What did they look like? Were there any witnesses?
- REPORT THEM! You can press charges against the police (Strafanzeige) and file a demand for prosecution (Strafantrag). Always do both, since some offences can only be prosecuted if you have filed a demand for prosecution. You have three months from your arrest to do this at the state prosecutor’s office. >> State prosecutor’s office (Staatsanwaltschaft):030/90140
- REACH OUT TO KOP if you have questions or need support. Even if you don’t want to press charges and want to stay anonymous, it’s important to document your case. >>kop-berlin.de, firstname.lastname@example.org, 0179/5441790
IF YOU NEED HELP
- Legal Support
TO LEARN MORE
- The Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz or General Equal Treatment Act is a federal law prohibiting discrimination by private actors in all 16 states.
- The Landesantidiskriminierungsgesetz or State Antidiscrimination Law is a state law that additionally prohibits discrimination by public officials in Berlin only.