Antwerp: 30 police officers and guards suspected of harassment and racism

This Thursday, the Court will examine the case which began in 2017. At the time, a member of the local police in Antwerp went to his superior because he had been shocked by a group of his colleagues on WhatsApp.

Lhe Antwerp Attorney General wants to bring 30 men and women who work for the Antwerp police and the Security Corps to justice for systematically harassing their colleagues. Fifteen of them are also expected to respond with racism, report De Standaard, De Morgen, Het Laatste Nieuws, Het Nieuwsblad and Gazet van Antwerpen.

This Thursday, the Court will examine the case which began in 2017. At the time, a member of the local police in Antwerp went to his superior because he had been shocked by a group of his colleagues on WhatsApp. This group had been created years earlier to make practical arrangements with the security corps of the FPS Justice.

But often the conversations went in another direction: members shared crude racist and sexist beliefs or showed photos of inmates that were commented enthusiastically: “Looks like a lousy specimen” or “A true terrorist”.

Colleagues have also been regularly targeted. One because he was disabled – “I don’t work with disabled people” – the other because of his sexual orientation. Colleagues with an immigrant background were the main target. Some of them also deliberately changed teams to avoid working with a colleague of foreign origin. “I’m not going to be transferred with these brown monkeys.”

In total, the Antwerp prosecutor wants to bring to justice thirty people involved in cases of harassment at work. The prosecution believes that fifteen of them should also answer for racism. A discrimination investigation is also underway against several people involved, but it has been dropped.

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