Status: 28.09.2023, 15:30 p.m.
The Lord Mayor of Tübingen, Boris Palmer. © Felix Kästle/dpa
In a letter, Tübingen's mayor Palmer demands information about a Gambian who injured two police officers in Tübingen. A criminal law expert criticizes the letter.
Tübingen - Tübingen's Lord Mayor Boris Palmer (independent) is once again causing a stir. This time it is about a letter to Interior Minister Thomas Strobl and Justice Minister Marion Gentges (both CDU). The occasion is an incident in Tübingen on September 20, when a 32-year-old Gambian injured two police officers, one of them seriously, during the arrest. The accused is at large, the public prosecutor's office is investigating.
In the letter, Palmer demanded more information about the case. "The city administration of Tübingen and I as mayor have not yet received any information about the case. The competent authorities refuse to do so, citing data protection, i.e. the protection of the perpetrator's data," Palmer writes. From the point of view of criminal law scholar Jörg Kinzig, the content of the letter testifies to a lack of legal knowledge.
Palmer invokes the Code of Criminal Procedure and asks why the accused is still at large. An urgent suspect can be detained if the life of another person has been endangered by the crime, says Palmer. "Mere endangerment is not yet a reason for detention," said Kinzig, who is director of the Institute of Criminology and holds the Chair of Criminology, Criminal and Sanctions Law in Tübingen. In his view, there was also a risk that a group of foreigners - in this case Gambians - would be placed under general suspicion.
According to the public prosecutor's office in Tübingen, the investigations do not suggest that the accused intended the consequences of the crime. Kinzig noted that Palmer's letter comes at a time when the investigation is only just beginning. The prosecution is investigating the accused on suspicion of resistance, assault against law enforcement officers in a particularly serious case and dangerous bodily harm. According to the Ministry of the Interior, no letter from Palmer has been received so far.
On the sidelines of the Lake Constance Business Forum in Friedrichshafen, Palmer told the German Press Agency: "Specifically, as mayor, I am also the head of the local police authority and have not received any information from the public prosecutor's office and the police about what this means for the safety of people in the city." He needs to understand the situation in order to act, Palmer said. The authorities invoked data protection. That is why he turned to the responsible ministers.
"You can't equate migration with violence, but it is also a fact that many people, young men, who come to us come from war zones or areas of everyday violence. That they are uprooted, traumatized and that it is therefore not surprising that they pose a higher risk," Palmer said. The people of Tübingen would not understand why the man was at large. "And I don't understand it either."
For years, Palmer has been offending with statements. In September 2018, he claimed that there was an accumulation of fare dodgers among refugees, and added on Facebook: "There is a problem and it is not harmless." He was responding to information from the railway, according to which there was no accumulation.
In April 2018, Palmer was upset about a probably gruff cyclist with dark skin: "This is not appropriate for anyone and for an asylum seeker already three times not." He later called this a mistake. He said he was sorry "that the very people I want to protect - namely migrants with black skin - feel attacked and stigmatized across the board." Dpa