On the anniversary of the deadly shots at two young police officers near Kusel in the western Palatinate, relatives, police officers and politicians commemorated the two victims on Tuesday.
Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) called for violence against police officers and other state representatives to never be tolerated. "Those who protect us deserve our protection themselves. Every day and everywhere," wrote Faeser on Twitter.
The Rhineland-Palatinate Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) expressed her condolences to the victims' relatives. She thinks especially of the families of the two, she told the German Press Agency. Colleagues of the victims wanted to come together in mourning on Tuesday at the police station in Kusel and at the Rhineland-Palatinate Police University in Hahn.
State Interior Minister Michael Ebling (SPD) said that the young people were "torn from our midst by a brutal and senseless act". "The act still shakes us today and continues to stun us after a year," he said at the Hahn police campus. There, the police college commemorated the anniversary at the memorial for colleagues who died on duty.
Commemorative white balloons
On Tuesday morning at 4.20 a.m., the time of the crime, the Kaiserslautern police released a moving video of security forces forming the initials of the two victims and letting white balloons rise. "We think of her every day and keep her in our hearts," it said on Twitter.
On January 31, 2022, a 24-year-old police officer and a police commissioner five years older were killed during a night-time vehicle check on a remote district road near Kusel. At the end of November, the district court of Kaiserslautern sentenced a 39-year-old man to life imprisonment for two counts of murder. The court also determined the particular gravity of the guilt. With the act, the man wanted to cover up commercial hunting poaching, it said in the not yet final judgment.
State Interior Minister Reinhold Jost (SPD) from Saarland, where the two victims came from, emphasized that the shock and grief would still be very deep today. Among other things, Jost called for "hard and immediate punishment for acts of violence against emergency services".
The uniform as a trigger for violence
On the anniversary, the German police union in Saarland called for a memorial for colleagues who died on duty as a "permanent sign of remembrance". The Hesse police union complained of an increase in violence against law enforcement officers. "The uniform used to be a form of protection, but today it's all too often a "red rag" and thus a trigger for violence," says state head Jens Mohrherr.
The 39-year-old convicted of the murders will soon have to appear in court again. From February 14th, the district court in Neunkirchen will deal, among other things, with the suspicion of poaching, attempted dangerous bodily harm and false suspicion, the judiciary in Saarland announced on Tuesday.