12.08.2022, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Dortmund: Zwei Menschen stehen vor einem Zaun, an dem mit Kerzen und Blumen eines von der Polizei erschossenen Jugendlichen gedacht wird. Der 16-Jährige wurde auf dem Gelände dahinter von fünf Schüssen aus einer Polizei-Maschinenpistole getroffen. (zu dpa: «Von Polizei erschossener 16-Jähriger soll in Senegal beerdigt werden») Foto: Gregor Bauernfeind/dpa +++ dpa-Bildfunk +++

In a deadly police operation in Dortmund, the body cameras of the officers involved were not switched on. The German press agency learned this from investigators. The “Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger” had previously reported.

Interior Minister Herbert Reul (CDU) has meanwhile informed state parliament politicians in a letter about the incident in Dortmund. In case of doubt, the cameras on the police officers’ vests could have provided more information about the operation in which a 16-year-old Senegalese man was fatally injured by five bullets.

According to investigators, the use of the Dortmund police was initially not suitable for a body cam – since the youth apparently wanted to kill himself with a knife. When the situation changed and the 16-year-old approached the police officers with the knife, the situation became so stressful for the officers within seconds that nobody thought of the bodycam.

The public prosecutor’s office in Dortmund and the uninvolved police in Recklinghausen are currently reconstructing what happened on Monday last week. According to the investigation so far, the 16-year-old approached the police with a knife despite the use of pepper spray and tasers.

A police officer stationed for security had fired his submachine gun six times, five bullets hit the youth. He died.

Shortly before it became known that the bodycams had been switched off, the Recklinghausen police activated an information portal on Monday. Eyewitnesses should upload mobile phone videos or photos via the website. It was initially unclear whether there had been submissions by Tuesday because the responsible public prosecutor’s office could not be reached.

Interior Minister Reul meanwhile replied to a letter from the deputy SPD parliamentary group leader Elisabeth Müller-Witt and briefly summarized the events in Dortmund in a letter available to the dpa. A copy of the letter was sent to the heads of the other parliamentary groups.

In the letter, Reul summarized the details that were already known and emphasized the presumption of innocence that applies to the police officer with the submachine gun. The State Criminal Police Office is accompanying the investigations by the homicide squad from Recklinghausen, which represents an “additional neutral investigative body”.