Telegraph article confirms bouncer’s account
The Telegraph article above in some important ways confirms the bouncer's account.
The riot was dangerous and real (not fabricated by right wing agitators):
Some of those involved in a series of sexual assaults against women in the German city of Cologne on New Year’s Eve claimed to be Syrian refugees, according to a leaked police report.
The outbreak of violence was also far more serious than previously thought, and at one point senior police officers feared “there could have been fatalities”.
Two publications have released what they claim is an internal report by a senior officer who was at the scene.
Politicians have tried to cast doubt on the claim that many of the rioters were refugees from MENA:
Ministers have said there is no evidence asylum seekers were involved in the violence.
The rioters were contemptuous of the police and mocked them:
But the leaked police report, published in Bild newspaper and Spiegel, a news magazine, claims that one of those involved told officers: “I am Syrian. You have to treat me kindly. Mrs Merkel invited me.”
Another tore up his residence permit before the eyes of police, and told them: “You can’t do anything to me, I can get a new one tomorrow.”
Jail space was limited and some early arrestees were released to make room for the later ones:
A local newspaper reported that fifteen asylum-seekers from Syria and Afghanistan were briefly held by police on New Year's Eve in connection with the sex attacks but were released.
Even though the media and the politicians might not tell you the truth, sometimes you can get a police officer to give it to you straight:
The Express newspaper quoted an unnamed police officer who said his squad had detained several people who had "only been in Germany for a few weeks".
"Of these people, 14 were from Syria and one was from Afghanistan. That's the truth. Although it hurts," he said.
Someone is now calling this "a police cover-up"! It's the politicians who command the police who are covering up and it's the police who are risking their careers to leak the truth. The police even admit they were overwhelmed (and by deduction unprepared):
The newspaper quoted a second police officer as confirming the 15 who were held had "residence permits for the asylum procedure". Officers took down their names, and they are in the police records, he said.
If confirmed, the report will add new weight to claims of a police cover-up. The Cologne authorities have claimed they have no evidence whether asylum-seekers were involved.
It is not clear why the suspects were released but police officers have said they were overwhelmed on the night.
The riot at the Cathedral was total chaos and the police struggled to get to victims and gain control. Mostly, they only succeeded eventually in displacing the mob in smaller groups onto nearby streets where they continued to carry on. The bouncer claimed gunshots were fired. This article doesn't mention that, but the police mention firecrackers. Those who have not heard gunshots and firecrackers outdoors in close proximity often confuse the two (inexperienced police and citizens):
“When we arrived, our vehicles were pelted with firecrackers,” the report said. “In the forecourt and on the cathedral steps were a thousand people, mostly males of an immigrant background who were indiscriminately throwing fireworks and bottles into the crowd.”
Even the appearance of police did not stop the violence.
“Around 10.45pm, the station forecourt filled with people of an immigrant background. Women literally had to run the gauntlet through the mass of drunk men, in a way you can’t describe,” the report said."Police forces were unable to respond to all the events, assaults and offences. There were just too many at the same time"
“We came to the conclusion that the situation threatened chaos or serious injury, if it didn’t lead to fatalities.”
Police decided to clear the area but met with resistance and were “repeatedly bombarded with fireworks and pelted with bottles”. The report describes members of the crowd as having consumed a “massive” quantity of alcohol and other intoxicating substances such as cannabis.
Police succeeded in clearing the area by around 12.15am but the violence continued as the crowd moved into the back streets.
“Many women came to officers shocked and crying and reported sex assaults. Police forces were unable to respond to all the events, assaults and offences. There were just too many at the same time.”
Police were heavily outnumbered and prevented from reaching victims by the crowd, the report said. Several offenders who were ordered to leave returned to the scene and made a joke of it.
More than 150 women have filed criminal complaints, three-quarters of them for sexual assault. Two cases of rape have been reported.
With this experience under their belts, Cologne police will produce an "after action" report with recommendations for improvements in planning, equipment and training. I can almost write the improvements for them from here:
These work great on crowd control:
These are a lot better than squad cars which mobs love to destroy during riots. Best to have one or too just in case (better a year early than a day late):
And most of all, Cologne police are going to need a lot more of this: