According to the Munich I Regional Court, a woman who was shot during a police operation is not entitled to compensation for pain and suffering. “According to the result of the taking of evidence, the court is convinced that there were no other effective means of defense in the specific situation,” the court said on Wednesday.

The plaintiff was shot during a police operation in September 2020 and had demanded compensation of 300,000 euros for her injuries. At the time, her husband had called the medical on-call service because his wife had acute mental problems.

Doctor and policeman threatened with knife

She not only threatened the on-call doctor, who fled in his company car, with a knife, but also the police officers who had been summoned. According to the court, she attacked the police with a 25.5 centimeter long knife. One of the officers then shot her in the stomach. The mentally ill woman had to undergo multiple surgeries and stay in the hospital for weeks.

She stated in court that self-defense would have been possible in other ways than with a shot in the stomach. Finally, several police officers were on site who could have overpowered them with pepper spray or a baton – or at least could have aimed at their arms or legs.

The court saw it differently: “To the conviction of the chamber, the police officer did not act in breach of official duties,” the judiciary statement said. “In particular, the ban on excess that applies to police operations was not violated.” The verdict is not yet legally binding.

numbers declining

In the past ten years, 51 people in Bavaria have been injured by police shots and nine have been killed since 2014. This is the result of figures from the Bavarian State Criminal Police Office. Overall, the number of firearms used by the police in Bavaria is tending to decrease, as can be seen from the LKA figures. In 2014, the responsible Department 13, which normally investigates such cases, investigated eleven police officers. Last year there were seven. According to the LKA, there has been one case with one injured person for 2023.

In Germany, the use of firearms against people is the exception, not the rule, according to data from the Police Technical Institute (PTI) for 2021. Out of a total of 17,517 cases of firearm use, 139 people were shot, including 60 warning shots. The number of direct shots was put at 51. There were a total of eight dead and 31 injured in 2021. None of the cases were subsequently classified as inadmissible. In 53 cases, self-defense and emergency aid as well as danger to life and limb were cited as reasons for the use of firearms.

The “Police Shots” list by the Institute for Civil Rights and Public Safety in Berlin states that in 2022, ten people were killed by shots during police operations.