Brussels police to start wearing bodycams from September
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    Brussels police to start wearing bodycams from September

    Credit: Belga

    Brussels police are expected to start wearing body cams around September, following three months of testing the gear.

    The mayor of the City of Brussels, Philippe Close, told La Capitale that the city will purchase the portable cameras following several incidences of “aggressive” arrests.

    The cameras will not be turned on at all times, as officers will be able to turn the feed on and off themselves when they feel recording is necessary. Depending on the situation, the footage will be saved for a few months.

    “It is not our intention to film civilians constantly,” Close said. “Officers will have the right to turn on the camera only during some types of interventions.” Which types of interventions will require police footage, however, has not been specified.

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    The use of body cams will give a more complete image of some arrests, according to Close, referring to amateur footage of incidents by civilians that often predominantly show the moment of escalation.

    One incident of “aggressive” arrests may refer to police action in June, during the Black Lives Matter protests in Brussels. One teenager was arrested in a style akin of George Floyd’s fatal arrest: seemingly with a knee to the neck.

    This week, one officer was shown to be performing a Hitler salute at Charleroi Airport while the arrestee lay dying on the floor next to her. The video footage was given out two years after the victim had passed away. On Wednesday, federal police announced that it would take “disciplinary measures” against the officer.

    Amée Zoutberg
    The Brussels Times