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Ostend Police Service opens internal enquiry after video footage shows hard-handed arrest of 14-year-old girl

A video published on social media shows the arrest of 14-year-old girl by officers from Ostend Local Police Service in West Flanders. Some that have viewed the footage believe that the police used excessive force while detaining the girl. The Ostend Local Police Service is refusing to comment on the film but has said that it will hold an internal enquiry. 

The film shows the 14-year-old-girl resisting arrest. One of the police officers punches her in the face, pulls her face covering down and pins her to the ground for around a minute. Several passers-by are heard to say that the situation has got out of hand and that the police officer is using excessive force.

In a reaction the Ostend Local Police Service’s Chief Commissioner Philip Caestecker says “As this incident involves a minor, we are unable to comment about the details of the case. What we can say is that the short film that has been published on social media does provide a full picture of the situation. Without going into detail, this was an operation that had started 2 hours before the footage was shot. So, the film doesn’t show the full context”.

Internal investigation

Mr Caestecker added that the footage has been viewed by those in charge of the Ostend Local Police Service.

“An internal investigation is underway into the events in their entirety both before and after the footage was shot. We will initiate proceedings to be able to view the footage from the officers’ body cams. This will enable us to look at the situation in its entirety neutrally”, the police chief told VRT News.

No other persons were involved. After having been spoken to by police the girl was taken home. She was injured. As the investigation is still ongoing no further details have been disclosed. 

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