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Did police officer use excessive force against unmasked skater?

West Flemish prosecutors are investigating an incident involving a police officer and a member of the public in Roeselare and an altercation about a face covering.  

The incident happened at Roeselare skate park last night.  A police officer manhandled a 38-year-old man, who was not wearing a face covering.  The man received a blow to his face.  The officer also used pepper spray.

The police officer asked for the man’s ID card, hit him and forced him to the ground.  Bystanders recorded footage of the use of pepper spray.

West Flemish prosecutors say police have drawn up a report of the incident.  An investigation is underway.  The officer’s actions are also the subject of an internal disciplinary investigation. 

Kris Declercq is the Mayor of Roeselare: “On seeing the pictures I contacted the local police chief to order an objective investigation of what happened.  I will closely follow developments.  I wish to call on everybody to show respect for each other in these difficult times.  Violence and flouting the rules cannot be tolerated.  We will only succeed in combating corona together.”

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