More than two dozen German police officers were suspended over neo-Nazi propaganda shared in chat groups — including images of swastikas and a fabricated picture of a refugee in a gas chamber, a top security official said Wednesday.
Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said 29 officers were ordered to hand in their badges and weapons Wednesday over an investigation into the “foul” WhatsApp group messages, the Washington Post reported.
“We are talking about the nastiest and most disgusting Neo-Nazi, racist, and refugee-hostile hatred,” he said.
The offensive material included images of Adolf Hitler and swastikas, a rendering of a refugee in a gas chamber and another mocking the shooting of a black man, he said.
The majority of the officers worked at some point at the same precinct in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Reul said.
Some of the chat groups had been around for several years, with one dating back to 2012, he said.
The groups were discovered after an officer’s phone was confiscated over a suspected media leak, the newspaper reported.
“We have to ask unpleasant questions of ourselves,” Reul said. “Who knew about this? Why was this tolerated for years? By whom?”
With Post wires
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