Hundreds take part in riots and looting in Stuttgart
Authorities in Germany have expressed their shock at the rioting and looting that took part in Stuttgart on Sunday night. Hundreds of people ran amok into the early hours of the morning, injuring police officers, damaging vehicles and breaking into shops.
Rioters take hold of Stuttgart
Tensions in Stuttgart boiled over at around midnight on Sunday, as police conducted searches relating to drug dealing. It was when they moved to search a 17-year-old boy that a number of individuals at Schlossplatz turned against the officers. They began throwing stones and bottles. Several groups then started confronting and attacking the police, while others used poles to smash the windows of nearby police cars.
The clashes continued to grow in magnitude, with ultimately around 400 to 500 people joining in the fray. As the police attempted to tackle the crowds, smaller groups of people broke off and continued to riot around the city centre, destroying shop fronts and looting along the nearby Königstrasse.
Twenty people were arrested, and it is reported that 19 police officers were hurt in the fighting. The Stuttgart police chief, Frank Lutz, described the scenes as unbelievable: “In my 46 years of police service, I have never experienced this,” he said.
In a statement, the state premier of Baden-Württemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, said: “I sharply condemn this brutal outbreak of violence; these acts against people and things are criminal action that must be forcefully prosecuted and condemned.”
The situation had calmed down by around three in the morning. In total, nine shops were looted and another 14 were damaged. The extent of the violence was such that the police were forced to call in reinforcements.
The police ruled out any political motives behind the rioting, instead describing the perpetrators as belonging to the “party scene or events scene”. Stuttgart mayor, Fritz Kuhn, said that the rioters were under the effect of alcohol and that others were driven by “the addiction of putting a little film of social media.”