On Saturday evening, a young Black man named Ibrahima B. was arrested by the Brussels police and died in custody under unclear circumstances, allegedly from a heart attack. Available information point out that he was arrested for… filming a police intervention! This was an illegal arrest and the police has blood on its hands, regardless of the actual cause of death.
Ibrahima was on his way to the North train station to go back home to another city and he stopped to film a police intervention against a group of youths. Although it is perfectly legal and legitimate to film police harassment, the police officers went after him, which made Ibrahima B. afraid and made him flee. He was eventually arrested and he died an hour later while in police custody, his lawyer saying that it took long minutes for the police to react when he fell down in handcuffs, presumably hit by a heart attack.
The police clearly doesn’t have a clean conscience, as it took them more than six hours to call Ibrahima B.’s family, and they lied saying that Ibrahima B. had defied the curfew, even though the time of death (8:22pm) was before the start of the curfew (10pm). Police has also been disseminating rumours about drug abuse, even though there are no such elements available at the moment.
If Ibrahima B. was white, he would probably still be alive today. This is proven by countless examples of police brutality targeting people of colour and foreigners in the recent months in Belgium. At the very same spot were Ibrahima B. was arrested, Black German deputy of the EU Parliament Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana was violently arrested and searched by the police for… filming the arrest of two young Black men. The police wouldn’t believe that the 71-year-old is a EU deputy… In April, riots erupted in Brussels after a young man of North African descent died in police chase. In July, a young man of Algerian descent died in police custody in Antwerp after a brutal arrest. In August, videos revealed that Slovak national was strangulated to death by the police in a cell as the police officers laughed and one of them made Nazi salutes.
Small demonstrations took place in Brussels to request justice for Ibrahima B. and we stand in solidarity with those experiencing police brutality and structural racism, and with all those who are fighting back! No justice, no peace, fuck the police!