Police investigate allegations of brutality against Brussels teen

Police investigate allegations of brutality against Brussels teen
Credit: Facebook Screenshot

Brussels police said they will launch an investigation after footage of a teen saying he was beaten up by police after a Black Lives Matter protest surfaced online.

Speaking in a video posted on Monday, a teen with a bruised face identifies himself as 19-year-old Mounaime before explaining that five unidentifiable officers beat him and insulted him inside a van.

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"I was arrested at the demonstration for George Floyd as I was looking for something to eat. I was put in a van for two minutes and then five masked police officers came and started hitting me," the teen says in the video. "They just insulted me and beat me up."

The 19-year-old was reportedly arrested in the Porte de Namur area, where looting and riots erupted after the demonstration ended and which led to clashes with the police.

"He was not part of the rioters and was standing between the Quick and Hector Chicken [food chains], where he and his friends had dinner. Then they were surrounded by the police," the teen's sister told Bruzz.

The video was filmed by a person identifying himself as Mounaime's older brother, who said they learned of the incident from hospital staff who contacted them at around 11:00 PM to say the teen was in a serious condition.

According to reports by BX1, hospital staff said the teenager had suffered internal bleeding. Videos of his testimony have been uploaded to Facebook and Twitter, with one version gathering more than 90,000 views.

The Brussels-Ixelles police zone was not available for a request for comment. Spokesperson Ilse Van de Keere told Bruzz that no reports of the incident were made to police. "However, the chief of police asked to conduct an internal investigation into the facts," she said.

The teen's family said that they want to file a complaint with police oversight body, Committee P.

"He has some internal bleeding, but he is mostly traumatized," the teen's sister said, Bruzz reports.

After the looting on Monday, a police union filed a strike notice and said that 28 officers had been injured in clashes with rioters, calling for "zero tolerance" to violence against the police.

Gabriela Galindo

The Brussels Times

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