News24

Belgium in shock over brutality video

2013-02-22 22:26

Brussels - Footage of a young man in apparent psychological distress, who after asking for police protection died on being brutally battered by a six-man unit in a tiny cell, caused shockwaves across Belgium on Friday.

The disturbing scenes of police brutality that took place in early 2010 in the suburbs of the port city of Antwerp were aired on the VRT Dutch-speaking television network in a documentary late on Thursday.

Newspapers in northern Belgium headlined the story on Friday and Interior Minister Joelle Milquet dubbed the affair "scandalous" while deeming it "unacceptable" that the officer who delivered repeated blows to the 26-year-old as his colleagues kept him pinned down was not suspended from duty.

Jonathan Jacob, whose last hours were reported in a long documentary on the television channel, died in the cell 6 January 2010 after the incident.

A body-building fanatic with a love of horses, according to his father, Jacob used amphetamines and on the night of his encounter with police appeared to be suffering from withdrawal.

After asking a police patrol for help, he was taken to a psychiatric clinic but once there refused to be locked up and threatened the officers.

Fearing violence, the clinic refused to take him in so the police officers drove the young man - who by then had stripped naked - to a police-station where he was locked in a tiny cell about 3.5m².

A video camera then shows six helmeted police, armed with shields and batons, creep quietly towards the cell door, hurl a stun grenade inside and all six pin him down on the bed as he curls up in terror to shelter.

One of the officers lands six punches before a doctor gives him an injection to sedate him.

They realise then he is no longer moving and efforts to revive him fail.

In February, the Belgian judiciary ruled the head of the clinic and a psychiatrist who refused to take him in should be tried along with the officer responsible for the fatal blows.

Comments
  • Bruce Gauld - 2013-02-22 23:06

    Shame, they should see the inanda video..

      mahesh.visram.7 - 2013-02-23 08:10

      what does this have to do with the inanda video? Those were criminals, they deserved it, only wish the rest of the country could deal with them in the same way, maybe then we would have some sort of justice

  • Kay Carakas - 2013-02-23 00:49

    Time to do to the Europeans what they always do to us... Oh I'm so scared to go to Belgium! Is it safe? Can you walk around the streets? Forget the criminals, what if the police catch you! Will the gang up and kill you in the cell?

      piet.strydom - 2013-02-23 02:28

      If you read the article properly, you would notice that the people invovled are arrested and being tried in court....

      heibrin.venter - 2013-02-23 05:38

      'Time to do to the Europeans what they always do to us... ' Racist much??

      liam.dafydd - 2013-02-23 06:31

      @Habrin: Not Racist. After the London riots in 3011; South African news papers reported JHB now safer than UK! What a load tosh. UK still saver than SA.

      womba.wonder - 2013-02-23 06:54

      The London riots of 3011 are about 998 years into the future.

      nicholas.e.devilliers - 2013-02-23 08:11

      @liam.dafydd *safer *What a load of tosh. *2011 Kill yourself

      Calvin Mbhele - 2013-02-23 10:19

      European ppl are not racist,they hating on even white South African,well ask the Proteas, or go to Russia,the non european whites are called names by europeans, well hear what black south africans call blacks from africa

      liam.dafydd - 2013-02-23 10:37

      @womba: sorry, 3011. The iPhones of the future are so small; my fingers are too big to for the keyboard. And besides, I live on Mars.

      Refiloe Thelma Shikwambana - 2013-02-23 12:49

      Liam lol!

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-23 13:29

      Kay Carakas, Don't be childish. At least the Belgiums address what is wrong in their society. What is wrong with the Europeans questioning safety in South Africa?. Or are you going to tell me that isn't a valid question?. Grow up.

      jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-23 13:31

      Heibrin Venter. What are the Europeans doing to you exactly?. Other tan spend their money here and buying South African produce?. How does racism fit in this picture?.

      heibrin.venter - 2013-02-25 02:15

      @jacqui: read my comment again. Now, again, this time slowly. I have NO issue with Europeans, I was pointing out Kay's statement as being racist.

  • kplkasteel - 2013-02-23 07:17

    Just to show you that it happens all over the world. It is not only bound to sa though it happens more often and it is right in your face so you might be more aware of it.

  • rudolph.stoltz.9 - 2013-02-23 08:27

    belguim is is non country !!!

  • jacqui.daanevanrensburg - 2013-02-23 13:26

    I saw it on Dutch/ Belgium television last night. Blooming horrible. All those policemen should be sacked.

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