Rotterdam police force under investigation for racism following violent arrest

The lawyer of a Dordrecht family has announced that the Rotterdam police force have begun an internal investigation into racism. This is following an incident of aggravated assault during which an officer was recorded using racial slurs against the black man he was arresting. 

The police were called to the man’s family home on Sinterklaas night about a barking dog, but the situation escalated. The officers consisted of two women and one man, who were approached by a painter who was working on the man’s house.

The painter was intoxicated and when the male officer ignored him, he called the officer a “horse dick.” The officer then turned on the painter and began to chase him. At this point, the family, consisting of a 37-year-old white woman, a 45-year-old black man and their 18-year-old son, interfered.

Racial slurs

Once the family intervened in the chase of the painter, things are reported to have escalated and all three members were arrested. The arrest was caught on CCTV footage and the officers can be seen punching both the father and the mother in the face and using pepper spray on all three of the family members. One officer also restrained the father by clamping his legs around his neck.

According to reports by the NRC, the mother claims that the police used racial slurs against her husband, her son and the painter at multiple points during the violent arrest.

The recordings that the police provided have moments where the sound no longer works, the mother claims that these blips are intentional. “The police shouted: ‘Get those dirty niggers’, but that is no longer heard.”

When arresting her son, she claims one officer said “You are already covered in shit. Why do you also smell like shit?”

Other footage

While the sound on the officers uniforms has moments where it does not work, one officer is caught on footage referring to the father as “cunt negro”, the NRC reports. This footage and audio is said to have been captured by a fixed camera at the house in Dordrecht.

According to the mother, when someone informed the officers that the arrest had been captured by the extra camera, one officer turns to the other and says “You just said dirty nigger. There are now also images of that.”


Following the arrest, the Rotterdam Police force sent out a press release claiming that the father and son attacked the officers and that the father had attempted to suffocate an officer. The mother tells the NRC that the report “tells a lot of lies and has also omitted many things.”

A spokesperson for the Rotterdam police tells the NRC that the investigation will be carried out “with vigor.” The police officers will remain on duty throughout the investigation.

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Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah O'Leary 🇮🇪
Sarah originally arrived in the Netherlands due to an inability to make her own decisions — she was simply told by her mother to choose the Netherlands for Erasmus. Life here has been challenging (have you heard the language) but brilliant for Sarah, and she loves to write about it. When Sarah is not acting as a safety threat to herself and others (cycling), you can find her sitting in a corner of Leiden with a coffee, trying to sound witty.


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