On June 20th and 21st, riots took place in the German city of Stuttgart.
It all began when police started carrying out drug checks at the city’s main square, Schlossplatz.
Eyewitnesses said that everything escalated after a teen tried to run away from the police and officers chased him. At that moment, partiers from other groups stepped in “out of solidarity” with the teen and began attacking police.
The city of Stuttgart was rocked by unprecedented violence last night after hundreds of youths rioted and attacked police, injuring dozens of officers. Piles of glass have been swept up outside of shops and with their broken windows boarded up. pic.twitter.com/yyiNxWgV99
— Rebecca Staudenmaier (@restaudenmaier) June 21, 2020
An estimated 500 people, many of them teens or young adults, were involved. Twenty-four suspects were eventually arrested.
Stuttgart Mayor Fritz Kuhn condemned the riots, calling the violence “unacceptable,” and reiterating his support for law enforcement. The riots had crossed a line that neither alcohol nor the will to show off on social media could excuse, he said in a statement, warning that “violence against emergency services is not tolerated.”
“Stuttgart is fully behind the police,” said Mayor Kuhn in the statement. “There is no getting used to such an outbreak.”
The police were initially able to push back the crowd using pepper spray, but tensions escalated quickly, said the statement.
Several hundred people pushed police back by throwing stones, bottles and other objects from construction sites.
At least 30 stores were damaged, and nine reported looting. 12 police patrol cars were “massively damaged,” said the government statement.
“Vehicles were hit with poles, posts and windows were smashed,” the police said.
Police say they have arrested 24 suspected rioters, about half of which are German. 19 officers have also been injured, with one “unable to continue working” due to a sustained hand injury.
Those involved in the violence were not politically motivated, the police said.
“We can rule out a left-wing political or any political motivation for these acts of violence,” said Franz Lutz, the Stuttgart police commissioner.
The police said the violence was caused by people partying, and others looking for a fight.
State premier Winfried Kretschmann spoke of a “brutal outbreak of violence”, adding that “criminal acts against people and property should be prosecuted and condemned”.
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