The Campaign for Victims of Racist Police Violence (KOP) is a grassroots organization in Berlin that uses various methods to fight institutional racism, with the ultimate goal of ending racism. In Berlin and elsewhere, people who fall into groups targeted by the police—because of their assumed origin, skin color, or language-- experience the same harassment time and again. They are subject to passport controls, aggression by the police, racist verbal abuse and insults, violent arrests, assault, and other mistreatment.
KOP strongly objects to the “bad apple” theory that suggests that racist police attacks and assaults are the exception, perpetrated by a few “bad” police officers. We provide practical solidarity to victims of racist police, countering the feeling of powerlessness that victims often feel. KOP refers victims of racist police violence to counseling centers, lawyers, and to mental health assistance. In addition, we offer to stand by victims in court by accompanying people to court and observing their cases, including when victims are criminalized with counter-charges. We inform witnesses, victims, and others impacted about their options for resisting. In short, we support victims in whatever way they need.
A cornerstone of our work is our independence from government structures. KOP is run exclusively by voluntary, unpaid activists. We are financed by donations which, to date, have been used to build our legal aid fund for victims of police violence. Thanks to the donors, over the last years, we have been able to support many people faced with high legal costs associated with their experiences of racist police violence.
In addition to this support and solidarity work, KOP engages in public messaging and campaigns to make racist police violence more visible. We also document racist police violence. In our Chronik publication, KOP has documented over 350 cases of racist police violence from 2000-2021. The cases in the Chronik come from different sources, including from reports from victims or witnesses to us and from stories in daily newspapers or other media. The cases in the Chronik are “counternarratives”: Unlike in other media sources, we reflect the views of the people impacted by police violence. The goals of the Chronik are to inform the public about racist police violence, to empower victims, and to hold police accountable.
At times, this work costs KOP money. And that is why this Christmas season we ask for your support. Instead of spending on unneeded presents, consider donating money to end racist police violence. These donations will help finance our costs, including printing and dissemination of the Chronik, communications materials, and more.