Public Insults of German Police Protected by Free Speech

Proclaiming "ACAB" ("all cops are bastards") publicaly is not directly punishable, as determined by freedom of expression. This was decided by the Federal Constitutional Court in two cases about football fans who held a sign reading "ACAB" or wore it on their trousers. Laws on defamation, such as section 185 of the Criminal Code, can limit the right to freedom of expression. However, the statement must refer to a manageable and defined group of people. The Court considered that the statements were not directed against certain individual officers.