Brussels police claim officer's knee was not on neck during controversial arrest

Brussels police claim officer's knee was not on neck during controversial arrest
Shocked bystanders stated the teenager was not resisting and appeared to be arrested for no clear reason. Credit: Jonathan del Valle

According to a spokesperson at Brussels Capital - Ixelles, the Brussels police officer who was seen kneeling on a teenager, did not put his knee on the young man’s neck. 

The teenager was arrested after Sunday’s Black Lives Matter demonstration in Brussels. Bystanders said they did not understand the reasons for the arrest and that the policemen’s acts during the arrest were “quite brutal.”

“After analysing the intervention frame by frame from the video surveillance cameras, it clearly appears that the police officer had one knee on the ground and the other on the shoulders of the person arrested,” a spokesperson for the Brussels Capital - Ixelles police zone told The Brussels Times.

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This was “a method of arrest that limited freedom of movement while handcuffing was being carried out, and that did not place the full weight of the police officer on the person arrested, let alone on a fragile part of his body,” the spokesperson said.

“It should also be noted that the arresting police officer, in addition to being a member of the specialized assistance unit - a specially trained unit - is also a monitor of violence control without a firearm,” the spokesperson noted. “In doing so, he is particularly experienced in the methods of control and arrest.”

The incident in question was an administrative arrest, the spokesperson specified. Such an arrest “is in any case limited in time and does not lead to consequences or prosecution,” he said.

The Black Lives Matter demonstration on Sunday happened in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck despite the man repeatedly saying he couldn’t breathe.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

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