Union chief Rainer Wendt is the “Donald Trump of the German police” and should be banished from the airwaves, according to Green Party Police Vice President Oliver von Dobrowolski.
Von Dobrowolski, a Berlin-based detective whose organisation represents Green Party backing police officers, has set up a petition which calls for a media blackout on the police union boss, who he blasts for making statements that are “deliberately populist”.
The appeal, hosted on Change.org, says “members of marginalised groups” are upset by appearances by the police union chief, and warns that exposure to Wendt’s views could cause Germans to “develop a misplaced fear of crime”.
Addressed “in particular [to] the broadcasting corporations and newspapers”, the petition demands the German media stop providing a platform for the union chief to voice “opinions on police issues and internal security policy”.
In the last 18 months, Wendt has become known for the forthright manner in which he’s sounded the alarm on some of the policing dilemmas the country faces resulting from the arrival of almost two million people since 2015.
Wendt’s belief that the mass influx of Middle Eastern and North African migrants is linked to the number of security issues Germany now faces is one of the reasons the petition states why the union boss is unfit to appear on television.
“Furthermore”, it continues, “[Wendt] has demanded rubber bullets be used against protesters, called for a fence to be built along the German border to ward off migrant flows, and made statements regarding the existence of an alleged macho culture among young Muslims”.
Another cause for concern, according to the appeal, is that Wendt has given interviews to media outlets that the petition states are “suspected of having a readership which includes people who are openly right wing and conspiracy theory-minded”.
Statements by the police union chief “generate a false picture of threat”, and are likely to lead Germans to “develop a misplaced fear of crime”, the petition says. It also alleges that Wendt’s views are ‘repellent’ to “a large part of the mainstream” as well as, “in particular, members of marginalised groups”.
The trade unionist told Junge Freiheit, a conservative weekly magazine which was among the supposedly “dubious” outlets named in the appeal, that he “laughed heartily” upon reading the Change.org petition.
Left wing politicians reacted with anger last week after Wendt blasted the leniency of Germany’s criminal justice system as a “joke”. Social Democratic Party deputy Ralf Stegner called the union boss a “ right wing populist loudspeaker with no substance”.