‘Two Antwerp police officers convicted of violence against Dutch people’

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'Two Antwerp police officers convicted of violence against Dutch people'

The Antwerp court has convicted two police officers for disproportionate violence and drawing up a false report against a group of Dutch people. According to the Gazet van Antwerpen, the suspects were members of the so-called rapid response team (SRT, an arrest team) of the Antwerp police zone. A third officer was also involved in the case, who provided assistance in drawing up the false police report.

Audi Q7

The facts took place on the evening of January 13, 2022 in the city center of Antwerp. A patrol from the SRT – a team that works in plain clothes – stopped in their Audi Q7 in the Lange Koepoortstraat. Four Dutch men passed by and one of them touched the handle of the driver’s door. His friends walked on.

One of the officers got out and roughly arrested the Dutchman. The other Dutch people got involved and the man who was being held managed to break free. A chase ensued from the four police officers who stopped the Dutchmen further away and knocked them to the ground in Coppenolstraat and Wolstraat.

Witnesses stated that one of the officers hit one of the Dutchmen in the face five times with his fist. Another witness stated that he “heard bones cracking.” Another Dutchman was also hit in the face after which he fell backwards to the ground. According to the witnesses, the victims had not really resisted.

‘Disrespect’

According to the court, two of the SRT members used disproportionate force. “They showed a lack of respect for the physical integrity of the victims,” the chairman said. One of them receives an unconditional prison sentence of 24 months and a suspended fine. Another received a suspended sentence of ten months in prison and a suspended fine of 800 euros.

The third colleague was acquitted of the violence, but was convicted together with his colleagues for drawing up a false report: six months in prison and an 800 euro fine, both conditional.

The Dutch will receive a total of almost 9,000 euros in compensation.

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