HAMBURG, Germany (AP) _ The police chief in Germany's second-largest city was dismissed Tuesday for failing to stop assaults against foreigners in custody.

Eighty police officers are under investigation and could face criminal charges of brutality. The offenses allegedly have occurred since 1988.

Last year, officials said some police officers were suspected of having ties to extreme rightist groups.

Hartmuth Wrocklage, interior minister of the Hamburg city-state, announced Tuesday that Police Director Heinz Krappen was taking early retirement at age 57.

Krappen failed to deal with numerous complaints of police brutality, Wrocklage said. He said Krappen hadn't started proper investigations or provided complete reports to politicians overseeing the police.

Wrocklage's predecessor resigned last year, saying his attempt to end abuses had run into a wall of silence.

Witnesses have told investigators that foreign suspects in custody, especially black Africans, were beaten and sometimes taken and dumped on the city outskirts. In several cases, suspects were subjected to mock executions.