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Skater lodges complaint against police officer that punched him in the face

A man that was punched in the face by a police officer at a skateboarding park in the West Flemish town of Roeselare has lodged a complaint against the police for assault and battery. Video footage of the incident that occurred on Saturday shows a police officer spray pepper spray into the 39-year-old man’s face and punch him.

The man was skating at the park, but was not wearing a face mask. Since midnight on Friday the wearing of face masks has been mandatory in the area of Roeselare within the town’s inner ring road.

The man also refused to show the police officer his identity card, insulted him and accused him of being a “Nazi”. The video footage that was shot by the mobile phone of one of the other people that were at the skateboard park shows how the police officer punches the man and forces him to the ground. 

The police officer risks disciplinary measures. Commenting on the incident the Mayor of Roeselare Kris Declercq (Christian democrat) told VRT News that "Respect is the key to everything. It is important for us to once again respect law enforcement officers, the rules and our fellow citizens. Violence and not following the rules can never be sanctioned. We won’t get there by swearing at and hitting each other. Coronavirus should not cause our society to short-circuit”. 

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