German minister backs down in legal threat over newspaper column

German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer decided against making good on his threat to sue a newspaper columnist on Thursday, after accusing her of fuelling hostility towards police.

The offending article was titled “All cops are berufsunfaehig” (All cops are unfit for work), a play on an expletive slogan often used in hard-left circles.

It speculated about what work officers might get in a capitalist society if the police were to be defunded, with the author suggesting they would be suited to refuse collection.

On Sunday, after a riot in Stuttgart in which several police officers were injured, Seehofer told the Bild tabloid he would lodge a legal complaint against the author of the column.

However, in a statement released by his ministry on Thursday, Seehofer said he had decided against taking such action, opting instead to invite the editors-in-chief of taz, the left-wing newspaper in which the column appeared, to his office for talks.

He also said he would seek advice from the German Press Council, a voluntary self-regulating body for the country’s media.

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