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Policeman convicted after handcuffed suspect suffers blows

The Antwerp appeal court has found a police officer from Lommel (Limburg) guilty of using excessive violence after he used his fists to inflict six blows on a restrained suspect. The officer is a chief inspector.

Pictures handed to VRT show how the violence was meted out in a police cell.  Earlier a court acquitted the officer on the same charges.

The attack occurred in 2015 when a 27-year-old ran amok at the McDonald’s in Lommel (Limburg). The suspect was detained and taken to a police cell.  Police say he resisted arrest, but the suspect claims that on the way to the cell his head was bashed against a wall.

Images obtained by VRT show how in the police cell the chief inspector held the suspect by his ear.  The arms of the handcuffed suspect reach out towards the chief inspector, who claims the suspect tried to headbutt him.  The officer is then seen inflicting six blows with his fists in quick succession. The suspect falls unconscious and throws up blood.  A doctor is called who instructs the police to have the man hospitalised.

After a court in Hasselt threw out the charges against the police officer, the court of appeal has now found him guilty, but the sentence is being suspended.  The officer will not have to serve any time and the conviction won’t go on his record.

The victim of this police violence has already been convicted of GBH on a McDonald’s worker and of resisting arrest.

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