A police officer has been suspended and authorities in Molenbeek are looking to launch an investigation after a bystander filmed the officer violently kicking the head of a man who was already pinned to the ground.
The suspended officer is part of the Brussels north police zone, and spokesperson Caroline Vervaet told local media that the head of police had suspended the officer and would open an investigation.
“The events happened on our zone and we have the right to open an investigation,” Vervaet said.
Police authorities told French-language daily Le Soir that the man attacked —who the French-language daily said was wanted for unspecified felonies— had not filed a complaint, and that they only learnt of the attack after the video was shared on social media.
The footage, filmed by a resident from a nearby window, was shared on Facebook where it’s already recorded 20,000 views.
In the video, which is less than a minute long, a police officer is seen holding a man to the ground, and a second officer can be seen descending rapidly from a police van and violently kicking the man in the head, before his colleague attempts to calm him down.
Molenbeek mayor Catherine Moureaux condemned the attack on Twitter, calling it “unacceptable” and demanding the officer be sanctioned.
After the attack, one Molenbeek councillor took to Facebook to ask that police officers be equipped with body cams.
The investigation will seek to determine the reason behind the suspended officer’s actions.
Une vidéo montrant une intervention policière à #Molenbeek circule actuellement. Cette intervention est d’une violence inacceptable. Rien ne peut la justifier. Je demande que l’agent impliqué soit convoqué et qu’une sanction immédiate soit prise.
— Catherine Moureaux (@catmoureaux) 21 de mayo de 2019
The Brussels Times