The decision provoked a major reaction: Because the suspected rapist of a 21-year-old woman had dark skin, the ZDF broadcast "Aktenzeichen XY" [Case files XY] did not broadcast a segment about the incident from 29 March 2014.
"Cases are chosen by the editorial team and producer in close cooperation with the criminal police based on the relevance of the case, its urgency and the current state of the investigation," the broadcaster said in a statement. "The skin colour or other personal characteristics of a suspected perpetrator plays no role in this."
One day previously "Aktenzeichen XY"'s editor in chief Ina-Maria Reize-Wildemann was still justifying the decision with reference to stirring up feelings against refugees in Germany. "We don't want to pour oil on the fire and encourage bad feelings. These people do not deserve that." She meant refugees, about whom hate-filled comments are written, especially on the internet, and whose accommodation in Germany is attacked.
After the public outcry about this, they have now announced the segment will be shown on September 2.