A commissioner from Berlin is suing against a ban on appearing as a police officer on social media. This had been uttered because he had interviewed a clan member on Tiktok. The court has now confirmed its judgment, which could be trend-setting.

After an interview with a clan member, a Berlin commissioner is no longer allowed to appear as a policeman on various social media for the time being. The Berlin Administrative Court decided this in an urgent procedure and thus confirmed a ban on the police, as a court spokesman announced on Friday.

The authority had forbidden the chief inspector from his activities on Tiktok after he had conducted an interview there via live stream with a well-known member of a Berlin clan and used the first-name terms. In June 2022, the authority banned him from all police-related social media appearances and asked him to delete his posts and profile name.

The police officer defended himself in court – initially unsuccessfully. In the opinion of the judges, the policeman violated his official duties with this type of secondary activity. The interview with the member of a Berlin clan reveals “an unacceptable close relationship to the clan milieu”, according to the responsible 36th chamber. This gives rise to doubts as to whether the civil servant will in future carry out his duties dutifully and impartially. As a police officer, he is subject to special duties of loyalty to his employer, which contradict private contacts in this scene.

According to the court, an appeal against the decision has already been lodged with the Berlin-Brandenburg Higher Administrative Court. The police initially gave no information as to whether disciplinary action had been taken against the officer.

According to the Berlin Police Union (GdP), there are disciplinary measures. The court’s decision points the way when it comes to the private presence of police officers on social media, explained GdP spokesman Benjamin Jendro. “It’s good that Berlin’s police have now recognized the dangers and are working on binding and transparent rules and tips.” The topic of “Insta-Cops” has long been neglected.