Rioters chanting “Allahu Akbar” attack police and destroy shops in Stuttgart’s worst-ever day of violence
06/24/2020 / By Isabelle Z. / Comments
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Rioters chanting “Allahu Akbar” attack police and destroy shops in Stuttgart’s worst-ever day of violence

Stuttgart, Germany experienced its worst night of rioting on record on Saturday night as looters shouting “Allahu Akbar” ransacked shops in the city.

According to police union head Hans-Jürgen Kirstein, “young people with a migration background were at the front of the riots.”

A total of 24 people were arrested in the violence, half of whom were foreign nationals and three of whom were Germans with a migrant background. Some of the rioters came from places like Iraq, Iran, Bosnia, Afghanistan and Portugal.

Hundreds of young looters attacked the police with stones and glass bottles after the routine arrest of a German white teen for a drug-related offense.

Police have said they believe there was no political motivation for the vicious attacks. Nevertheless, some have linked the riots to those being seen against police in the U.S. Many of the rioters wore hoods and masks.

Speaking at a press conference, police chief Franz Lutz said they haven’t ruled out a left wing or other political motivation. The country has noted a growing anti-police sentiment in recent times, however.

Lutz said: “These are unbelievable scenes which have left me speechless and which I’ve not experienced in my 46 years in the police.”

Aggressiveness toward police has been on the rise

According to Lutz, in the past few weeks, people in the “party and event scene” in the city have expressed growing aggressiveness toward the police on social media and have been increasingly getting drunk in public.

Stuttgart’s deputy police chief, Thomas Berger, said that the violence seen on Saturday was unlike anything he had seen before in his 30-year police career. He characterized the teen’s drug arrest that allegedly started the violence as “totally normal.” It was part of drug checks that were being carried out in the city’s main square.

Nevertheless, hundreds of people started attacking the police immediately in “solidarity” with the boy, throwing bottles at the paramedics who had been called in to help people. At least 19 police officers were injured in the melee and a dozen police vehicles were damaged, some to the point where they had to be taken out of service.

A total of 40 stores had their windows smashed, including a phone store, jeweler, fast food outlets and clothing shops. At least nine of the shops were looted. The rioters also damaged billboards and sprayed graffiti throughout the city, while vehicles that were parked in the area were hit with poles.

The German media has described the scene as a “battlefield.” Photos show extensive damage, with ransacked stores, broken glass and debris strewn about the city streets.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has called the incident “abhorrent” through her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, who added: “Whoever has done this has turned against their city, against the people with whom they live and against the laws that protect us all.”

Merkel opened up the country’s doors to a million refugees in 2015, a move that many Germans disagreed with.

The president of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, is taking a hard stance against the perpetrators of the violence, saying that they should be “prosecuted and punished with all the severity of the law.”

He added: “We must resolutely oppose anyone who attacks police officers, who shows contempt for them or gives the impression that they should be ‘disposed of’.”

More than 200 extra police were brought into the downtown area, and they were ultimately able to get the situation under control at around 4:30 in the morning. It’s hard to say how this might have ended without police presence, but this is exactly the type of scene that could well play out in cities across America if those calling to “defund the police” are successful.

Sources for this article include:

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