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Investigation into deadly police shooting in Bremen

June 19, 2020

Police in the northern German city of Bremen have launched an internal investigation after officers shot a man, who later died in hospital.

German police officers
Image: picture alliance/dpa/M. Scholz

Police in Bremen have said an investigation is underway after a man was fatally shot during an operation in the city's Gröpelingen neighborhood. The case was referred to the public prosecutor on Friday, a day after the incident.

The victim was a 54-year-old man of Moroccan nationality, according to local media.

Read more: When are German police allowed to use guns?

The leader of Bremen's police union, Lüder Fasche, has defended the actions of the officers involved in the operation. He said the man was shot after attacking an officer with a knife, citing a video circulating online as evidence that the officers had acted appropriately.

Fasche said officers had initially tried in vain to verbally resolve what the police described as a "suspected psycho-social crisis." 

The Bremen police have stressed that initial media reports that the operation was linked to an apartment eviction were false. Police also appealed to members of the public and media not to share the video.

Fasche said the incident should not be conflated with the "recent social discussions" about police violence that have followed the killing of unarmed Black man George Floyd by a white officer in the US.

The vice president of the Bremen police, Dirk Fasse, said he was concerned that an individual had died during a police operation.

"My thoughts go out to the relatives and colleagues who were exposed to this stressful situation," said Fasche.

Richard Connor Reporting on stories from around the world, with a particular focus on Europe — especially Germany.