Insulting the German police

46 posts in this topic

 

You totally made this part up. Unless you are a mind reader.

 

You're right, fraufruit. It was the high-quality Hochdeutsch, plus the fact that he is American, that had them pissing their pants. ;)

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The trouble with insulting someone in the form of a question is that, in this country, they can still interpret the question as an insult (not difficult, of course) and get you that way.

 

Unfortunately, the cops here always have to "win" over the citizen, otherwise they feel their authority is down the gurgler. And as agents of the state, that would "subvert" the informal principle of the primacy of the state over the citizen. And they could never have that.

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You totally made this part up.

 

Unless you are a mind reader.

 

 

Round this way the 2 or 3 times I've been stopped at the police checkpoints they've always spoken heavy Schwäbisch so he could well be right :)

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Can I make a citizen´s arrest if I´m insulted by a policeman? Or any other Beamte?

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Can I make a citizen´s arrest if I´m insulted by a policeman? Or any other Beamte?

 

 

post-44703-12933841753863.jpg

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Even though I spent my childhood and went to school in Germany you are probably right fraufruit. Nonetheless, I added it because they spoke with a heavy Bayrisch accent.

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Can it be classed as an insult to use the "du" form rather than the "Sie" form when speaking to a Police officer. I have vague recollections of my first ever German teacher trying to scare us into using the Sie form with a story about some celebrity getting arrested because he refused to use the "Sie" form when talking to the police. I don't know whether it is true or not. Could be just a story they tell young and impressionable German students to make them be more polite...?

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Can it be classed as an insult to use the "du" form rather than the "Sie" form when speaking to a Police officer. I have vague recollections of my first ever German teacher trying to scare us into using the Sie form with a story about some celebrity getting arrested because he refused to use the "Sie" form when talking to the police. I don't know whether it is true or not. Could be just a story they tell young and impressionable German students to make them be more polite...?

 

 

 

Using "Du" in the wrong context is considered unpolite and can legaly be found to be an insult with fines up to 500 Euros. In any case intent needs to be proven.

 

One celebrity was Dieter Bolen who was able to successfuly defend himself because he "du'es" everybody

 

 

http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/gesellschaft/0,1518,399643,00.html

 

Also see http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duzen#Duzen_als_Beleidigung

 

 

Saying "Du Arschloch" is wrong but "Sie Arschloch" is ok. ;-)

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Good thing the German Polizei ain't that good in foreign languages... :blink:

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Can it be classed as an insult to use the "du" form rather than the "Sie" form when speaking to a Police officer.

According to one cop against whom I lodged a complaint for rough-handling a bum asleep at a streetcar stop "du" is customary between bums and cops. Choose which category you want to belong to :lol:

 

He got grounded, taken off the beat and stuck behind a desk. After all, threatening a smelly, drunk but otherwise harmless guy with a "bayerische Doppelwatschn" (Bavarian one-two upside the head) unless he wakes up is overstepping various boundaries.

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I can remember reading about cases where asking police if they don't have anything better to do is generally construed as an insult. So it's good that aufklarens didn't actually do that.

 

 

No way! An insult requires a derogatory statement about the person insulted, it must be public (i.e. if you say something in a circle of close friends, it may not be considered public), and it must be an unconditional statement (classic case: "In my opinion, you are an asshole!" is not considered an insult).

 

 

 

Can it be classed as an insult to use the "du" form rather than the "Sie" form when speaking to a Police officer. I have vague recollections of my first ever German teacher trying to scare us into using the Sie form with a story about some celebrity getting arrested because he refused to use the "Sie" form when talking to the police. I don't know whether it is true or not. Could be just a story they tell young and impressionable German students to make them be more polite...?

 

 

 

The classic case here was about somebody at a farmers' market who got into a fight with one of the women at a stall, and when the police tried to calm him down, he addressed them with "Du" and the woman with "Sie". The judgement was that it was this differential treatment that expressed the disregard for the police. Not sure whether the ruling held in a higher court...

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Anyway my passport was somewhere in there and I didn't feel like looking for it.

 

 

You got into an argument with police officers because you didn't feel like looking for your passport? :blink:

 

Yes, you had a train to catch, but unless it was the only one you were going to be able to catch for another hour, I don't understand how you could disregard their authority. And even then, civilly explaining would be the way to go. There are plain clothes officers out there for a reason. Carrying a smallback pack and being in a hurry might attract reasonable suspicion.

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Few days ago I had a run in with two plainclothes police officers at the Munich Hbf. My train was due to leave in a minute and I was walking quickly with a small backpack. At first I didn't realize they were the police, more like peddlers. They wanted to see my pass and quiz my German. Normally I just fake being a tourist with no German comprehension when I run into the police in Germany, but I already spoke so it was too late for that. Anyway my passport was somewhere in there and I didn't feel like looking for it. Had a brief argument in German with them and they decided on account of my High German being better than theirs to just leave me alone. I told them indignantly, admittedly without thinking, maybe they had something better to do than to randomly harass me. Looking back on it I am thinking I was lucky to get away with it.So I am just curious to know if you can get arrested for insulting a police officer in Germany. I have heard it's the case in Switzerland.

 

Some thoughts...

 

First of all I think it's very strange that they accepted you not showing ID after they asked for it. I try to imagine myself trying to pull that one off if stopped by the NYPD, I imagine it playing out another way?

 

How come you keep on getting stopped by the Police, sounds strange?

 

Anyway, one can say not so thought through things "in the heat of the battle" and it seems like you regret it. The little I've seen of police behaviour in Berlin I must say they don't seem to be easily provoked. Haven't tried to provoke anyone myself though!

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Funny, that some people here seem to have this admiration to challenging authority and then questioning it's motives...There have been times that the Polizei have stopped me in Frankfurt. It is mandated here and in other European countries to have some form of ID to prove to them you are who you say you are. The Polizei are known to be not so freindly and it is well known in the travel guides for people traveling here. The times that I have had the Police stopped me whether at some controlled checkpoint or on the street I was always polite and the results were no problem and life moves on. If I am in another country and walking around in the town, I carry a photocopy of my passport in case of control. As far as insulting them, you are asking for trouble. In Frankfurt, the Polizei do not play and I have seen where they have been pretty rough with individuals who try to flee from them or insult them.

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Well, Vman, it´s NOT mandatory in all European countries to carry ID with you. It´s not even mandatory to carry ID with you in Germany. Forget the German word for it now! A couple of times I´ve just showed a business card or a health card or whatever.

Mind you, I agree it´s mostly a good idea to have a copy of something on you when in town to make life easier. And I agree it´s definitely not s good idea to insult the police anywhere in the world. Too risky and just asking for trouble.

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I don't know about other European countries, but he didn't say it was mandatory to have ID with you in Germany, just that it's mandatory to *have* ID in the first place. Makes it a whole lot easier to have it on your person, though.

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The very least you could expect is that the police explain WHY they stop you to see your passport. And that they do it in a polite manner. Otherwise it's harrassment.

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I have been stopped by the undercover rozzers many times.It used to freak me out but now I have had my fill of what are essentially Gestapo/Stasi tactics.I guess old habits die hard. These days I insist on seeing their details and taking names and numbers. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Don't let them faze you.

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