BERLIN (AP) — Police in Berlin said Friday (May 26) that they have opened an investigation of Roger Waters on suspicion of incitement over a costume the Pink Floyd co-founder wore when he performed in the German capital last week.
Images on social media showed Waters firing an imitation machine gun while dressed in a long black coat with a red armband. Police confirmed that an investigation was opened over suspicions that the context of the costume could constitute a glorification, justification or approval of Nazi rule and therefore a disturbance of the public peace.
Once the police investigation is concluded, the case will be handed to Berlin prosecutors, who would decide whether to pursue any charges.
Waters rejected the accusations in a statement early Saturday on Instagram, saying that “the elements of my performance that have been questioned are quite clearly a statement in opposition to fascism, injustice, and bigotry in all its forms.”
He claimed that ”attempts to portray those elements as something else are disingenuous and politically motivated.”
Waters has drawn ire for his support of the BDS movement, which calls for boycotts and sanctions against Israel. He has rejected accusations of antisemitism.
Authorities in Frankfurt tried to prevent a concert there scheduled for May 28, but Waters challenged that move successfully in a local court. In Munich, the city council said it had explored possibilities of banning a concert but concluded that it wasn’t legally possible to cancel a contract with the organizer. His appearance there on Sunday was accompanied by a protest attended by the local Jewish community’s leader.
Last year, the Polish city of Krakow canceled gigs by Waters because of his sympathetic stance toward Russia in its war against Ukraine.