Four disciplinary investigations into alleged police brutality at Extinction Rebellion demo

A total of four disciplinary procedures have been opened regarding the police operation at the Extinction Rebellion protest in Brussels on Saturday 12 October. The Mayor of Brussels Philippe Close (Francophone socialist) says that the investigations should bring clarity as to what exactly happened on the Koningsplein as police moved in to clear protesters.  

Mr Close was speaking during a lengthy debate on the issue at Monday evening’s meeting of Brussels City Council. The issue was raised by a number of organisations that felt that they and their members had been the victim of police brutality during the Extinction Rebellion sit in demonstration.

The organisations had collected the necessary 20 signatures from residents of the City of Brussels to allow them to table a question at the council meeting about the alleged police brutality. A number of witnesses alleged that they had become the victim of police brutality while they were protesting peacefully. Mayor Close told the council meeting that while the police report on the operation could not be made public, he could reveal that 4 disciplinary investigations were under way.

Two of these refer to excessive use of CS gas. Another investigation is into allegations from a 19-year-old demonstrator that a police motorcyclist deliberately revved up his motorbike to blow exhaust fumes into the faces of handcuffed demonstrators. A fourth investigation groups statements from 33 anonymous witnesses.    

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