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Tiergarten District Court: The kick had happened without official reason

Photo: Taylan Gökalp / dpa

A Berlin police officer has been sentenced to ten months in prison on probation after a kick to the head of a man already lying on the ground. The Tiergarten District Court found the 32-year-old guilty on Monday of bodily harm in office and dangerous bodily harm. The official is also to pay 600 euros in compensation for pain and suffering to the 22-year-old concerned.

When the defendant kicked the suspect's head, there was no more assault on him, the verdict said. It had been done without official reason.

Other police officers had started the case against their colleague. Through his lawyer, the defendant explained that he had been in an exceptional situation after a violent punch to his face and had "overreacted". He said he was sorry.

Charge: "Targeted" kick to the head

The 32-year-old was on duty with a colleague in May 2023 when they wanted to check a suspicious passer-by in Berlin-Dahlem because of property damage to a vehicle. The 22-year-old had resisted the determination of his personal details, it was said in the trial. There had been a scuffle and beatings. Other police officers arrived and pinned the 22-year-old to the ground. The defendant, who was wearing combat boots, had "purposefully" kicked the head of the man lying on the ground, according to the prosecution. The injured party had suffered a bruise and pain.

The defendant said that when other officers arrived, he wanted to support and kick the man's shoulder despite a bleeding nose and pain in his hands. A 36-year-old officer testified that the kick came as a shock to him and other colleagues.

The 22-year-old is said to have smashed a car window. During the trial, he said that he was not feeling well at the time because of private setbacks. He had wanted to collect himself emotionally before talking to the police. "One of them was very close to me." There had been an altercation. His fear was great.

The prosecutor had asked for a one-year suspended sentence. The defense attorney pleaded for a lesser sentence, but did not make a specific request. The verdict is not yet final.