Because Hamburg’s Senator for the Interior Andy Grote (53, SPD) did not want to be called a “dick” on Twitter, he filed a criminal complaint against the author – and received a shit storm because he promptly triggered a police operation.
The term “Pimmelgate” quickly made the rounds.
Background: After Grote’s criminal complaint, the public prosecutor took over and obtained the decision to search the house of the alleged author of the tweet. The aim was to secure the device that had been tweeted from.
Six (!) Officers filmed an apartment in Hamburg’s St. Pauli nightlife district at 6 a.m. – albeit the wrong one, namely that of the ex-partner of the alleged sender.
Apart from the fact that the SPD politician was the target of ridicule: The accusation of abuse of office was also quickly raised. Especially since in most cases, even with far worse insults and threats, nothing happens to ordinary people.
Even Tübingen’s mayor Boris Palmer (49, Greens) failed in series with his advertisements. Palmer to BILD: “Prosecutors from all over the republic have closed umpteen proceedings for insult. (…) A house search for a ‘dick’ is amazing. “
Grote was already politically stricken: in June 2020, he broke his own corona rules when he celebrated his reappointment with a party. The result: demands for resignation and a fine of 1000 euros.
But Grote stayed in office despite the scandal and now feels right: Nobody needs to be insulted online. And: The public prosecutor’s office makes its decisions independently.
CDU interior expert Christoph de Vries (46, also from Hamburg) showed understanding that no one had to put up with such insults, “not even the interior senator, who has largely forfeited his personal reputation in office due to his own corona party”, so de Vries to BILD. “In this respect, it is Mr. Grote’s right to report this.”
What is unusual, however, is that this comparatively harmless crime resulted in a house search as a very far-reaching investigative tool.