This is one of those German episodes that unfold in a fashion, with nothing making any sense.
At some point on Wednesday afternoon.....a cop walking the beat on Riga Strasse (on the east side of Berlin)....came upon a car illegally parked. It's a housing district....older homes or apartment houses. It's a minute or two walking east from Bersaringplatz.
A masked man is approaching the cop. In Germany, there's no real law existing presently about masked individuals. There's talk of this changing, and it'd draw lots of criticism from the Islamic crowd and the privacy rights crowd (SPD, Green Party, etc) if they did try to criminalize masks.
The cop (I'm guessing a youthful guy)....drew attention upon the masked guy and wanted him to identify himself. The guy wasn't going to comply.
Now, I can write dozens of pages over the prevailing attitude by the vast majority of Germans to comply with cops in a friendly way when they ask questions. At least in Germany, there is still some belief that cops deserve respect, and that cops will treat you with respect.....as long as you behave in a proper way.
At this point, with the cop focused on the masked guy.....two guys and one gal set upon the cop and began beating him. The guy was on regular patrol and didn't have any defensive vest on him at the time. It's safe to say he was kicked and punched.....knocking him to the ground, and hurting him in a particular fashion. The masked guy? He apparently joined in on the action.....hurting the cop too.
After achieving what they desired.....the four culprits fled the street.....running to a particular house on Riga Strasse.
All of this drew attention, and more cops arrived. At the peak....at least by what the cops say themselves.....there were roughly 500 cops somewhere within a block or two of the barricaded house.
Naturally, you'd just look at the amount of stupidity dealt out here, and just shake your head. The four had basically asked for a lot of trouble.
The four were arrested. In the midst of this....a lot of anti-cop and anti-authority commenting on social media from the radicals of this part of town.
I went looking at some history over Riga Strasse. It's a curious thing....back in November....a arrest warrant was attempted on a guy from the street there, and this attempt by the cops triggered a number of thugs to come out and attempt to threaten the cops....failing in an attempt to rescue their buddy. After that attempt.....the thugs turned around and set fire to two cars on the street and a garbage dumpster.
Association with immigrants or foreigners? No....these are simply regular old-fashioned German radicals. The news folks will try hard to avoid using the word hoodlum.....that's reserved for right-wing and it's violate news protocol to label leftist radical as leftist hoodlums.
The stupid thing about this is that they all go back home after a while....wanting to brag about what they did.....confessing as widely as they can on social media, Facebook, YouTube, etc.....and making a simple collection of evidence for the cops (similar to the idiots in Koln who also wanted to brag about their achievements from the 31st of December). A cop or two will do the homework....save the images....a prosecutor will build the case, and mental-giant of a thug will stand there shocked in court as everything is laid out by his own submitted evidence via social media.
The only way you can make sense out of this.....is guys sit and do enough weed....to think they are in some imaginary world, living a fantasy life, and stoned enough to get themselves two years in prison for beating a cop.