German MP Critical of Police for Killing Crazed, Axe-Wielding Jihadist
It's this kind of attitude that is beginning to wear on the German people and explains why Chancellor Angela Merkel's popularity is dropping like a stone.
Germany has now experienced three terror attacks in a little more than a week. One of those attacks occurred on a train in Bavaria, as an 18-year-old Afghan refugee attacked people in a rail car, swinging an axe and screaming "Allahu Akbar." When the train stopped, the terrorist tried to escape by attacking police who had surrounded him. Seeing no other recourse, the police shot him dead.
Green Party MP Renate Künas questions whether lethal force was necessary. Soeren Kern reports:
Why could the attacker not have been incapacitated without killing him???? Questions!
Questions, indeed. But not directed at the police. Rather, questions should be asked of Kunas's sanity.
The pushback against her was immediate, but none better than this retort from the chairman of the German police union, Rainer Wendt:
Speaking on N24 television, Wendt added:
"Künast should not be watching so many bad movies. Who would believe that if someone attacks the police with an axe and a knife, the police are supposed to shoot the axe out of the attacker's hands? That is really clueless and stupid.
"If police officers are attacked in this manner, they will not engage in Kung Fu. Unfortunately, it sometimes ends in the death of the perpetrator. This will not change."
Kern gives more choice reactions:
The head of the police union in Bavaria, Peter Schall, said: "If a police officer is not allowed to shoot in such situations, he might as well stop carrying a weapon."
Mike Mohring, a politician with the ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU), called for stiffer penalties for those who attack police officers. He said attacks against police are on the rise across Germany and "the only effective deterrent is that the law provides an appropriate penalty." He also said German police should be outfitted with body cameras to protect both the police and the public.
Bavarian Justice Minister Winfried Bausback called on Künast to resign: "Anyone who publicly suspects police in such a situation without any knowledge of the matter — as Künast has done in her tweet — is unacceptable as chairman of the parliamentary legal committee."
Green leader Cem Özdemir distanced himself from Künast:
"I did not understand what she wrote there. It is always a good idea to think about what you are writing before you send a tweet. What are police officers supposed to do if they are attacked? They protected others and they protected themselves. Her view is not the position of my party."
Andreas Scheuer, the general secretary of the Christian Social Union, the Bavarian sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU, said Künast's comments were "perverse." He added: "The CSU's policy is: protection of victims takes priority over protection of perpetrators."
German commentator Klaus Kelle wrote:
"Our police in Germany do an excellent job and are hardly ever thanked for it. They are poorly paid ... and repeatedly are whipping boys for errors of policy. Endless overtime, violent attacks, even in harmless situations such as illegal parking, is part of everyday life for our sons and daughters, who serve all of us.
"Where are the politicians who support our policemen, rather than those who mindlessly criticize them, as now? Ms. Künast, does the presumption of innocence apply to police officers in this country?"