Judgment: Skin color must not be a criterion for police control

OVG Koblenz alleges infringement of non-discrimination

Koblenz( jur).The police must not control people because of their skin color. This would be a prohibited discrimination on grounds of race, the Higher Administrative Court( OVG) Rhineland-Palatinate ruled in a ruling issued on Friday, April 22, 2016, the previous day's verdict( Az.: 7 A 11108 / 14.OVG).Due to their fundamental importance, the Koblenz judges approved the revision of the Federal Administrative Court. Background of the lawsuit was the sole control of a dark-skinned family in the regional middle Rhine railway between Mainz and Koblenz by the Federal Police on 25 January 2014. The parents and their five and a half years old children were German. The police requested the identity cards and checked the identity. After the return, the federal police officers got out without controlling any other persons.

Picture: absolutimages - fotolia image: absolutimages - fotolia

The parents felt discriminated against because of their skin color. They were controlled only for their race.

Before the OVG they were right now. According to the Federal Police Act, however, Federal police officers are likely to carry out personal checks in certain trains in order to prevent illegal entry of foreigners into the Federal territory. Also regional trains such as the Mittelrheinbahn, which have their starting point and end point in the federal territory, are not excluded. Also, random personal checks are allowed.

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    However, the skin color was at least one of the decisive criteria for police control. A selection of the persons in controls to prevent unauthorized entry, for which the skin color of the persons is the sole or at least a decisive criterion, however, violates the principle of non-discrimination enshrined in the Basic Law, the Koblenz judges made clear. While combating illegal migration or smuggling,

    police checks were a significant public interest. However, given the large number of interviews in relation to the low number of detected illegal entries of only around one percent, the public interest is falling behind.

    A check in connection with the skin color is inadmissible. Why the federal police have controlled the family, could no longer be determined. Because of the external circumstances of the control and the partly unclear statements of the witnesses it could be assumed that the skin color was decisive for the control.

    Already on October 29, 2012, the OVG had pointed out in another procedure that passport checks based on the color of the skin do not go and constitute discrimination( Ref.: 7 A 10532 / 12.OVG, JurAgentur report dated 30 October 2012),After the federal police had apologized at that time, the procedure with the consent of the plaintiffs was considered settled. A formal decision was not made at that time.(fle / mwo)

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