German Police: Racial Profiling: Between Legal Actions and State Recognition


In 2011, a then 26-year-old Black architecture student from Kasselsued the German police. He accused them of racial profiling him during a police check on a regional train the year before. After having been subjected to repeated checks by white police officers during his commute to and from university, the German student finally took the decision to take the police to courts for violating his constitutional rights. The case was initially rejected by an administrative tribunal after the judge declared identity checks on trains as necessary and non-discriminatory. Such police searches are based on article § 22 of the BPolG (Bundespolizeigesetz; Engl: Federal Police Laws), which allow police officers to conduct random searches on airports, railway stations and on board trains (inside the country and at its borders) to prevent so-called unlawful entries into the country.