BERLIN (AP) — Police in the German city of Frankfurt said Wednesday that the department’s tactical unit is being restructured amid an investigation into its member participating in a chat group where far-right messages were exchanged.
Frankfurt Police President Gerhard Bereswill said the unit’s members are currently barred from work and one has been suspended from the force.
“It’s terrible, it’s serious what has been put forward here,” Bereswilll said of the the alleged chat messages, without elaborating.
Hesse state police searched the homes and workplaces of six officers Wednesday.
In a statement, Frankfurt prosecutors said an investigation of a 38-year-old police officer on suspicion of possessing and distributing child abuse images had led to the discovery of the chat groups.
Prosecutors said that 19 serving and one former police officer between the ages of 29 and 54 are suspected of exchanging messages that included Nazi imagery, which is forbidden under German law.
Officials have expressed alarm over far-right sentiment among the country’s police officers and military personnel.
Germany’s defense minister last year disbanded a KSK special forces unit following allegations of far-right extremism.
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