Home » Police use mugshots to search for violent Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt fans

Police use mugshots to search for violent Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt fans

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Police use mugshots to search for violent Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt fans

The Gelsenkirchen police are conducting a public search for 69 violent perpetrators who are said to have been involved in violent clashes on the sidelines of the Bundesliga soccer game between Schalke 04 and Eintracht Frankfurt (2:2) on May 20th last year. Among those wanted are 27 suspects who are assigned to the Frankfurt scene. A further 143 suspects from both camps had already been identified in advance and criminal proceedings have already been initiated in these cases.

Since all other investigative approaches had been exhausted, the responsible district court in Essen ordered the publication of pictures of the accused at the request of the Essen public prosecutor’s office. Such a large-scale public search for violent perpetrators in football is not unusual, especially in North Rhine-Westphalia. Eintracht board member Philipp Reschke, who is responsible for fan matters, still sees this type of search as “extremely critical and populist”.

212 proceedings have already been initiated

The police can point out that the wanted people would have been spared such publication if they had turned themselves in to the investigators. In this context, the Gelsenkirchen police point out that publicly visible images of suspects are immediately deleted as soon as they have been identified or have turned themselves in to the police. “The public search is a sharp sword that we only use after a very careful investigation and based on a court order,” said a spokesman for the Gelsenkirchen police.

During the riots in May last year, an employee of the German Red Cross and several police officers were slightly injured. In addition, at least 18 other, mostly uninvolved, bystanders suffered injuries. A man and a woman were so seriously injured that they had to undergo surgery.

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After the incidents, the Gelsenkirchen police set up an investigative commission that has evaluated extensive video material over the past few months in order to investigate the crimes and identify the suspects. So far, a total of 212 proceedings have been initiated, including for serious breach of the peace, grievous bodily harm, physical attacks on law enforcement officers and insults.

Calls for searches are not uncommon

“Football games are also not a legal vacuum. Anyone who blatantly intentionally attacks and even injures other people must expect criminal prosecution. We do everything we can to investigate and report such acts. My colleagues have had a lot of work with this in recent times, but I am sure that the effort was worth it,” says Gelsenkirchen Police Chief Tim Frommeyer.

In connection with the riots, shortly before the DFB Cup final involving Frankfurter Eintracht, the Gelsenkirchen police suggested nationwide stadium bans against 25 people, and the corresponding bans were issued in 23 cases. After the respective investigations have been completed, the police want to initiate further stadium bans against members of both fan scenes.

In the East and North Rhine-Westphalia, there are repeated public calls for searches by the police and public prosecutors as a result of football fan riots. As the Frankfurt police announced, a similar approach in a comparable case would also be conceivable in Frankfurt, “provided the public prosecutor follows the argument and suggests a corresponding judicial decision, which then has to be issued by a judge.”

The Frankfurt police also pointed out the proportionality of the public search on Tuesday. A spokesman told the FAZ that it is legally permissible to publish photos of the accused if the investigation of a crime, in particular the determination of a person’s identity, would be significantly more difficult in another way or if other investigative approaches have been exhausted and have not yet been successful.

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All pictures can be viewed online on the North Rhine-Westphalia police website at the following website. The Gelsenkirchen police are accepting tips on 0800-1103650 and 0800-1103651.

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