Jonas Roosens

Antwerp police officers to appear in court on charges of racism and bullying

29 police officers from the Antwerp Local Police Service are to appear before Antwerp Criminal Court to answer charges of alleged racism and bullying at the workplace. The police officers were responsible for the transportation of suspects to and from court. The are accused of having made racist and derogatory and remarks about detainees and about some of their colleagues in a closed chat group.

When the contents of messages sent in the chat group came to light a few years ago, the Antwerp Local Police Service took a number of disciplinary measures against the police officers. A criminal investigation was also launched.

Now magistates in Antwerp have decided that a trial will be held at Antwerp Criminal Court. The 29 police officers will answer allegations of racism and bullying at the workplace. Another police officers that was also involved with the chat ground has not been issued with a summons.

The officers were responsible for transferring detainees to and from the court, and for guarding the detainees in the court. They are said to have made racist and derogatory comments in a closed WhatsApp group about those detainees, and also about colleagues.

The 29 officers that have been told to appear in court still have time to appeal against their summonses if they so wish.

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