Racial profiling officially declared illegal

Members of Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland (ISD) and Büros zur Umsetzung von Gleichbehandlung e.V. (BUG) at the OVG

Remember the story about racial profiling in Germany? No, let me update you. Early this year a black German refused to show his identification documents to the police when asked to do so in the train. He was arrested and taken to court, with the police saying the had asked for the documents because according to them, the man’s looks portrayed he could be illegal. The plaintiff complained that he had been asked to show his documents severally on the train from Kassel, and he was sick of it because the police picked specifically on him due to his looks.

The court in Koblenz ruled that it was ok for the police in Germany to ask for documentation from those they suspected would be illegal immigrants based on their looks. This ruling did not go down with many rights groups in Germany, leading to the plaintiff appealing and taking the case to the Oberverwaltungsgericht Rheinland-Pfalz (OVG).

At the OVG they declared the ruling that was made in February null and void. The OVG ruled that racial profiling was illegal; which led to the police apologizing to the 26 year Student.

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