Politics • European • Germany
Germany: Seehofer continues blockade against racism study within the police
Horst Seehofer
Horst Seehofer Credit: Martin Rulsch (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 4.0)

According to information from SPIEGEL, Horst Seehofer maintains his blockade against an independent racism study within the police. He sees no structural racism problems that should be examined. The German Police University had submitted a project application to the Interior Ministry to investigate "right-wing extremist attitudes and actions", but the three-year project is now on hold.

Not only Seehofer, but the CSU is also opposed to a study recommended by the EU.

Lower Saxony's Minister of the Interior Pistorius now wants to commission a study in cooperation with other federal states.

Politics • American • US
Facial-recognition technology banned by Boston City Council
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System
Flat Recognition Facial Face Woman System Credit: teguhjatipras

The City Council in Boston has, in a unanimous vote, banned the usage of facial-recognition technology by the police. Councilor Ricardo Arroyo has stated that "It puts Bostonians at risk for misidentification", which is the reason why the technology has not been in use previous to the ban. The second Councilor, Michelle Wu, who co-authored the order with Arroyo said that "Boston should not be using racially discriminatory technology" as a study by the MIT found that facial recognition technology has a racial bias against people with darker skin.

Austria: Trial against former police office for alleged illegal data harvesting
Austria: Trial against former police office for alleged illegal data harvesting
Credit: Plani (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0)

An Austrian court is currently investigating a potential data scandal. The background is the lawsuit against a former police officer who is said to have carried out more than 90 inquiries from the police network for no official reason.

In court, he defended himself that he only checked security company employees. The judgment is still pending.

Politics • European • France
France: Controversial police chokehold method to be banned
Christophe Castaner, during a meeting with Emmanuel Macron in 2016
Christophe Castaner, during a meeting with Emmanuel Macron in 2016 Credit: clement vaillant / CC0 (Creative Commons CC0 Waiver)

France's Minister of Interior Christophe Castaner announced the ban of controversial police chokehold method. French police watchdog reported over 1500 complaints filed against police officers last year. In a press conference Castaner said the chokehold would no longer be taught in police and gendarmerie schools and that racism did not have a place in the country's society.

North Rhine-Westphalia: Firearm threats are increasing

Almost every second police officer in North Rhine-Westphalia has been a victim of violence in 2019. Over 18,500 attacks have been counted, with firearm threats in particular increasing.

Politics • Oceanian
Controversial New Zealand Level 2 Enforcement Law Under Review

As New Zealand sees easing of movement restrictions, a controversial law that allows police to enter homes without a search warrant to enforce restriction rules is being heavily criticised. Parliament has voted to send the law to a selected committee for a post-enactment review. Both Act and The National Party called the bill "an overreach of powers".

Man in Taiwan fined $33,000 for breaking self-isolation

During a routine police check at a nightclub, the man was caught violating his mandatory 14-day self-isolation after he had returned from Southeast Asia. He got the maximum fine of 1 million Taiwanese Dollar which translates to around $33,000 US Dollar.