German government welcomes probe into virus protest policing

BERLIN (AP) — The German government on Monday welcomed a decision by state authorities to examine the police operation at a weekend anti-lockdown protest during which participants openly flouted pandemic restrictions. Scuffles broke out between some of the 20,000 people participating in the protest in the central German city of Kassel on Saturday and counter-demonstrators trying to block their path. Footage showed police letting protesters march trough the city largely unhindered, with officers at one point forcefully hauling counter-protesters out of their path. The top security official of Hesse state, Peter Beuth, criticized protesters who had refused to wear masks, saying they put the lives of others at risk. Germany has seen a rise in the number of coronavirus cases in recent weeks.