More than 100 arrested after protests over a Black man’s demise in police custody

More than 100 arrested after protests over a Black man's death in police custody

The Brussels prosecutor’s workplace stated Wednesday it had opened an investigation into “involuntary manslaughter” after a 23-year-old Black man misplaced consciousness at a police station shortly after being arrested. He later died in hospital.

Hundreds of protestors gathered in Liedts sq. in central Brussels. Video from the scene confirmed scuffles as demonstrators threw stones and projectiles whereas police deployed a water cannon.

Some demonstrators carried Black Lives Matter indicators and shouted, “We want the truth.”

Belgian King Philippe’s automotive was “briefly stuck” close by, the palace informed Source, and the automobile was hit by just a few projectiles thrown at law enforcement officials surrounding the monarch’s convoy.

The King himself was not the goal and “his security was never endangered,” they stated.

A demise in police custody

The demise that precipitated Wednesday’s protests occurred on Saturday, after police “checked” a bunch of people that had assembled despite coronavirus measures that restrict public gatherings, a press release from the prosecutor’s workplace stated.

A person — recognized as Ibrahima B. by the lawyer representing his household — “fled on foot and was taken in for questioning by police,” in line with the prosecutor’s assertion.

“When he arrived at the police station, I.B. lost consciousness and the police officers present called the emergency services. An ambulance and an emergency team arrived at the scene and I.B. was taken to hospital. He died in hospital at 8:22 pm,” the assertion added.

Speaking at an illustration over his demise on Wednesday, the household’s lawyer Alexis Deswaef informed Belgian tv, “I know one thing — if that was my son, who’s white and the same age, that would not have happened.”

Deswaef informed Source that “the family was told that their son had a cardiac abnormality” however that this “would not be the sole cause of the death.”

Toxicology exams “show traces of narcotics,” the lawyer added, however these “would not explain the death.”

The escorted official car of Belgium's King Philippe makes a turn to avoid protestors.

Responding to the protests, General Commissary of the Federal Police Marc De Mesmaeker on Thursday stated, “We can understand that emotions are running high… but the way in which this was done is completely unacceptable.”

He accused protesters of committing acts of “vandalism” and stated 5 law enforcement officials have been wounded within the unrest.

Belgian Justice Minister Vincent Van Quickenborne stated Wednesday on Twitter: “We cannot in any way accept what happened today … The rioters will not get away with impunity.”

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