Already in January 2020, the new police law in Saxony came into force. The scope of action of the officers shifted with it primarily in the preventive space. This means that the police act when they suspect that a crime could be committed. In our everyday life, this can be seen in the fact that the police control people in public spaces at will. Certain places are declared to be dangerous places, thus legitimizing bag searches. It can also be seen in the 30 kilometer zone along the federal border, in which half of Saxony falls. In this zone, the use of video surveillance with automatic facial recognition was approved and deployed.
In addition to the new police law, the police were given even more room to maneuver during the Covid-19 pandemic. To implement the ever-changing decrees of the Saxony state government and city councils, the focus of the police was shifted to controls. Since March, there has been an increased police presence in public spaces, frequent checks on people and even home visits. Link to the inquiry to the Saxon state parliament (german language)
Not all people are affected equally by police checks. Discriminatory actions, such as racial profiling (the targeted control of People of Color, people who are not white) was already in the spring, in the context of the so-called Corona controls, repeatedly criticized in social media. Also often confronted with the police are homeless people. For them the Corona regulation does not provide a place. Already in the early part of the year, people were therefore harassed by the police, evicted from their places of residence and in some cases taken into custody.
The “hard lockdown” imposed from December 16, 2020, will again present many people with these problems. The regulations are more restrictive than ever before in Saxony, for example, there is a ban on leaving at night, which makes homeless people face the problem of their stay.
That is why it is important to show solidarity even in times of pandemic! Don’t just walk past police controls, ask if people in the control need support, stand by them.
Report assaults by the police!