Was tun als Opfer oder Zeuge/in von Polizeigewalt?!

If you are a victim

Speak directly to possible witnesses! Give them your name and a phone number and ask them to contact you.

If you are taken into custody, you are obliged to give the officers your name, date and place of birth, nationality, family status and the address at which you are registered. Do not make any further statements or offer any further information! At this point in time, you do not know what is to be held against you.

  • When taken into custody, you have the right to contact a lawyer. (Hotline service of criminal lawyers: 0172-3255553)
  • You have the right to refuse making any statement, either to the police, to the state prosecution or in court.

Do not let yourself be pressurized! Sometimes officers will threaten you with deportation or promise to let you go, if you make a statement. Do not place any faith in such threats or offers!

Do not sign any statement! In case personal belongings or money have been confiscated from you, insist on receiving a list. Do not sign any such list.

If you are not dismissed from custody, you will be taken before a judge or a shortened trial will be held. This has to take place at the latest before midnight of the day following your having been taken into custody. You have the right to an interpreter. Insist on this right!

Do not make any statement at this point of time either. Everything you say to the police, the state prosecution or in court, can be used against you. Any statement in your favour can be made later, after you have spoken to a lawyer.

Illegalised persons can be taken directly to deportation custody. In this case, too, you have the right to contact a lawyer.

When you are dismissed from custody and have been beaten or mistreated, immediately consult a doctor. Ask the doctor to confirm any signs of mistreatment.

If you are a witness of police violence

Ask the police officers for their identification numbers. Refusing a registration identification number is illegal; in such cases ask to speak to the chief of police.

In case plain-clothesmen say that they belong to the police, insist on seeing their police identification.

Immediately demand to be registered as a witness. Offer to be a witness to those victimised. Ask by-standers to do the same.

In case of any person having been taken into custody, demand the name and address of the person.

If you want to file a complaint: do so at the state prosecution.

You can file a Departmental Internal Complaint against police misconduct with the President of Police of your state (in Berlin: Platz der Luftbrücke 6).

In any case

If you are a victim or a witness of a person being taken into custody or any racist police action, write down the event as precisely as possible in the form of a memorandum:

  • time of the event
  • actions of persons involved
  • information of other witnesses
  • numbers of the police officers involved
  • number of the officers involved
  • registration numbers of police vehicles

If you have any questions of need support, contact us. Even if you do not want to file a complaint of wish to remain anonymous, it is important that the case is documented without any names.

  • ReachOut Counselling centre for victims of right-wing extremism, hate crimes and racism and centre for anti-racist education
    10969 Berlin
    Tel: 030-69568339
    email: info@reachoutberlin.de
  • ADB Anti-Discrimination Office
    Greifswalder Str.4
    10405 Berlin
    Tel: 030-2042511
    email: adb_berlin@gmx.de
  • EA Investigation Commitee
    10961 Berlin
    Tel: 030-6922222