A video showing violence against police officers in Belgium aims to draw attention to a situation that "cannot continue".
Shared on Twitter on Wednesday evening by the Police arm of the Free Trade Union of Civil Servants (SLFP), the video shows violence against police officers on duty in the municipality of Anderlecht.
Hoe onze collega's hun werk moeten doen in Anderlecht (Bergensesteenweg)... Wat denken jullie @SmetPascal en @dalle_benjamin? Hadden onze collega's het anders moeten aanpakken? Was dit een prioriteit? #regelrechteschande pic.twitter.com/zFGFPafKyI— VSOA POLITIE (@VSOAPOLITIE) May 20, 2020
Speaking to Het Nieuwsblad SLFP Vice-President Vincent Houssin explained that the incident occurred during an arrest for serious offences. The images show officers being kicked and beaten by bystanders during their work. "We share those images to bring them to the attention: this cannot go on," Houssin said.
The man who is being arrested was the perpetrator of a violent robbery, according to a statement by a police spokesperson to Bruzz, while the officer who can be seen being kicked in the face suffered a concussion and a broken nose.
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In the text accompanying the video, the union specifically calls out Brussels State Secretary Pascal Smet and Flemish Minister Benjamin Dalle, responsible for Brussels. "What do you think, Pascal Smet and Benjamin Dalle? Should our colleagues have tackled it differently? Was this a priority?"
Previously Smet had questioned the police following the death of a 19-year-old boy in a police chase in Anderlecht last month. The incident subsequently led to riots, and a wider discussion of police activity in the city. "Was this the top priority that night?" he said.
Following the incident, Dalle had asked for understanding for the situation of many young people.
The Brussels Times