More than two dozen German police officers were suspended over neo-Nazi propaganda shared in chat groups — including images of swastikas and a fabricated picture of a refugee in a gas chamber, a top security official said Wednesday.
Herbert Reul, the interior minister of North Rhine-Westphalia state, said 29 officers were ordered to hand in their badges and weapons Wednesday over an investigation into the “foul” WhatsApp group messages, the Washington Post reported.
“We are talking about the nastiest and most disgusting Neo-Nazi, racist, and refugee-hostile hatred,” he said.
The offensive material included images of Adolf Hitler and swastikas, a rendering of a refugee in a gas chamber and another mocking the shooting of a black man, he said.
The majority of the officers worked at some point at the same precinct in Muelheim an der Ruhr, Reul said.
Some of the chat groups had been around for several years, with one dating back to 2012, he said.
The groups were discovered after an officer’s phone was confiscated over a suspected media leak, the newspaper reported.
“We have to ask unpleasant questions of ourselves,” Reul said. “Who knew about this? Why was this tolerated for years? By whom?”
With Post Wires
California police bust ‘cult’ party with 4-foot model vagina
Cops in California’s Bay Area busted what they called a ‘cult or activist group’ party involving a four-foot model vagina on the beach over the weekend.
The cult-like gathering was broken up by cops in Point Molate Beach Park early Saturday morning, just hours after police responded to a suspected “Antifa” gathering at the same location, according to the chief of the Richmond Police Department.
At around 9:33 p.m., Richmond cops responded to the Antifa report when they discovered 50 people dressed in all-black uniforms who had traveled to the beach on a party bus.
The dark-clad group — which were described as a possible Antifa meet-up — agreed to get back on the party bus and disperse without incident.
Just hours later, police found another group of 60 people listening to the climate change recordings huddled around the giant facsimile of a vagina in a dock building nearby.
“The group was listening to recordings about climate change and Mother Earth while assembled around a 4 ft. model of a vagina,” Richmond Police Chief Al Walle wrote on Facebook.
“The group was identified, warned for trespassing, and escorted out of Point Molate.”
Walle said the second group had no affiliation but instead was “some type of cult gathering,” without giving specifics.
Inside the dock building, police “located some items (that won’t be further described) that led the officers to believe this was some type of occult group or activist group since this event was in close proximity to the Chevron refinery,” the police department said in a statement to Patch.
Some joked online that the “cult” party seemed like a garden-variety Bay Area fête.
“Who’s the Bay Area noob that wrote this article?” a reader tweeted. about a local report. “Sounds like a pretty standard Bay Area underground art party to me…”
Trump tells Minnesota rally he trounced Biden in first debate
President Trump on Wednesday told a large campaign rally in Duluth, Minnesota, that he defeated Joe Biden during the first presidential debate.
“Joe Biden is too weak to lead this country. You know Biden lost badly when his supporters are saying he should cancel the rest of the debates,” Trump said about Tuesday night’s battle.
The acrimonious debate in Cleveland was ridden with insults and interruptions and Trump told the crowd moderator Chris Wallace of Fox News was overly deferential to Biden.
“I was debating two people last night,” Trump said at the rally, again knocking Wallace, who largely failed to control bitter exchanges between Trump and the Democratic candidate.
But Trump boasted of the debate’s 73 million TV viewers and ran through what he said were poor moments for Biden.
“Liberal media is upset that I took the fight to Biden and exposed his very dangerous agenda,” Trump said. “Arson is OK, but challenging Sleepy Joe is totally off limits.”
Trump taunted: “Now I understand he’s canceling the debates, let’s see what happens. I think that’s not going to be a good move.”
In Trump’s telling, his hectoring of Biden revealed rifts among Democrats, including over the Green New Deal, which Biden said “is not my plan.”
“How about the Green New Deal? He disavowed it,” Trump crowed.
“Our opponents stand with rioters. I stand with the heroes of law enforcement,” Trump said, recalling his failed attempt to force Biden to say the words “law enforcement” during the debate.
“Last night I said … ‘Sleepy Joe, say law enforcement.’ He goes, ‘No, I’d rather not,’” Trump said.
Trump noted that Biden also refused to say whether he supports a push among some Democrats to “pack” the Supreme Court with more than nine justices if Trump succeeds in replacing liberal icon Ruth Bader Ginsburg with his nominee Amy Coney Barrett.
“Joe Biden also refused to answer questions about packing the Supreme Court — the Supreme Court. I mean, how good is Amy?” Trump said. “You know, she ought to run for president instead of Joe. He was like last place in his class.”
Trump echoed his inquiries about Biden’s son Hunter’s business dealings in China and Ukraine, and an alleged $3.5 million payment from the wife of Moscow’s former mayor.
“As you all saw, Biden also refused to explain why his son Hunter was paid $3.5 million … by the wife of the former mayor of Moscow … And took out $1.5 billion from China he manages, makes millions of dollars a year, right? And he got the $183,000 a month [in Ukraine].”
Trump said at the rally, “This is a matter of national security and economic security. The Bidens got rich while American workers got robbed.”
Joe Biden didn’t refute in detail allegations about his son, but repeatedly said Trump’s assertions were “not true.”
The post-debate spin among Democrats was notably different.
Biden, by contrast, said Wednesday that Trump’s debate performance was a “national embarrassment.” On the debate stage, the former vice president attacked Trump, calling him a “clown” and told him to “shut up, man!”
The Duluth rally is Trump’s third in Minnesota since August as he seeks to flip the historically Democratic state. A Republican presidential candidate last won Minnesota in 1972, though Trump was just 1.5 percentage short of Hillary Clinton in 2016.
Trump repeated his claim that Biden “will turn Minnesota into a refugee camp” and slammed Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) over a disputed Project Veritas allegation linking her to alleged ballot harvesting plot. “I hope your US attorney is involved. … I’ve been reading these reports for two years about how corrupt and crooked she is,” he said.
“And you know what, AOC also. It’s time. It’s time. You take a look at what they did, the corruption, the disgusting corruption.”
Trump also noted the Wednesday testimony of former FBI Director James Comey and all-but called for charges against “crooks” who he said tried “for a coup” against his presidency.
“We got plenty of information on these crooks. .. and it’s about time that something happens,” Trump said.
Mom drowns on Jersey shore trying to save kids from rip currents
A Pennsylvania mother reportedly drowned while on a family vacation in North Wildwood, New Jersey on Tuesday as she tried to save her three children from forceful rip currents.
The 49-year-old woman, from Wernersville, Pennsylvania, entered the ocean around 3 p.m. when she noticed her children — two boys aged 8 and 10, and a 19-year-old daughter — were struggling in the waters of the 18th Avenue beach, NJ.com reported.
“The mother was calling out to them to come back and when she saw they were having trouble, she jumped into the water,” Fire Chief Dominick J. McClain told the outlet.
The mom managed to pull her two sons to safety — but she returned to the water when she noticed her daughter was still battling the current.
Emergency responders had arrived shortly thereafter and rescued the daughter. They also pulled out the mother, who was found unconscious about 150 yards from the shoreline, according to the outlet.
She was transported to Cape Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead.
The woman’s husband was with their other children at Montego Bay Resort, where the family had been vacationing, as the tragedy unfolded — only to arrive at the beach as his wife was being retrieved from the water, McClain told NJ.com.
There were no lifeguards at the beach Tuesday on what was a comparatively chilly, overcast day, according to McClain.
“It was not at all a beach day. The water was very rough and the rip currents were very dangerous,” he said.
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