Police in Berlin are moving to prosecute the person who leaked shocking CCTV video footage of a woman being kicked down a flight of stairs.
The video of the incident, which took place near the end of October in Neukölln, was published by Bild last week. The newspaper highlighted how, despite a report having been filed of “severe bodily harm” to the 26-year-old victim, the public prosecutor was yet to open a case.
Days later, police announced they were intending to release the video the day after it was leaked, an action they stressed is “unlawful”. They are now looking into how the CCTV footage was passed on, and have filed criminal charges in preparation for finding the perpetrator.
The State Office of Criminal Investigations confirmed that they are investigating unknown persons for violation of the Data Privacy Act. A spokesman added that they have no suspects in mind so far, and said it’s possible the video was passed on from someone in the police force.
The 20-second footage shows a young woman descending the stairs to reach Hermannstraße subway station from the S-Bahn, just after midnight. A group of men can be seen walking behind her. Completely unprovoked, one of the youths suddenly kicks the woman in the back, which sends her flying down the set of stairs face-first.
Only when other travellers come to the woman’s aid are the young men shown leaving the scene. Bild reported that paramedics attended to the victim, who was treated at a nearby hospital with a broken arm.
Berlin Police denied complaints and allegations made by members of the public on the force’s Facebook page which alleged the only reason they have now officially released the 20-second clip is because it was leaked and made public. A formal request for its publication had “long since been requested by a judge”, a police officer said.
German citizens and the Alternative for Germany (AfD) party have long complained that police have not taken certain crimes seriously due to political correctness. In the wake of the New Year’s Eve Cologne sex attacks, the police were accused of covering up the attacks, following orders from the government.