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Black EU lawmaker victim of police violence in Brussels

A black European Union lawmaker declared yesterday that she was a victim of “extremely traumatic” police violence outside a Brussels railway station, and lodged a complaint against Belgian police.

Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana, a German Green party deputy who was born in Mali, told the European Parliament she was pushed and grabbed by four officers on Tuesday after she began to film police harassing two young black people outside the Gare du Nord.

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A police spokeswoman announced that an investigation into the incident was underway but denied the fact that violence had been used.

“Four of those armed police officers brutally pushed me against the wall, they grabbed my handbag away from me, spread my legs and a police officer wanted to frisk me and they dealt with me in a very humiliating way,” she pointed out to the parliament.

Herzberger-Fofana said police did not react when she said she was a member of the European Parliament, showed her two passports, Belgian residency card and official EU accreditation.

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“I feel this is a discriminatory act with underlying racist tendencies,” Herzberger-Fofana said.

Since May 25th, the murder of black American George Floyd in police custody has led to weeks of protests in the United States against racism and police brutality and prompted more European citizens to challenge discrimination in society as well. We have reported many protests across Italy, France, and the UK to testify this.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen yesterday told the parliament that she was aware of the lack of black staff and commissioners in the bloc’s executive.

“The time has come for us to do more than just ... condemn racism, we have to take this opportunity to talk about racism openly and frankly,” von der Leyen declared.

However, will a change ever start happening?


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