Watch your words: Six Dutch police officers suspended following racist comments

Six Dutch police officers were suspended on Sunday after posting a video with racist comments whilst in Paris, France.

According to NU.nl, the group of police officers drove through a street in Paris last week, making racist comments about people of colour and filming the incident as a social media video. 

The video was said to have been shot while the group of officers were off-duty in Paris for the Netherlands vs. France football game. 

Sparking an uproar on social media, a police investigation was subsequently launched into the statements made and the officers’ involvement.

Racist comments

The video shows the officers commenting multiple times that there is only “one white person” to be seen. 

READ MORE | As a Black man, I can tell you that institutional racism in the Netherlands is running rampant: OP-ED

The video shows another person commenting: “There’s another one with a bomb belt here.”

At another moment in the video, an officer asks the group: “You are filming as if we are driving in a zoo, aren’t you?” and a person agrees with the question. 

One officer also asked the group whether they wanted “more or less” and the group responded with “less, less, less” in reference to PVV (Party for Freedom) leader Geert Wilders’ controversial Moroccan ruling. 

In 2014, Wilders asked at an election meeting whether those attending wanted “more or fewer Moroccans” and the crowd chanted “less, less” in response. To which he then replied, “Then we will arrange that.” He was then found guilty of group insult by The Court of Appeal in The Hague. 

Police response

The police chief of the East Netherlands, Janny Knol, told NU.nl: “As the police, we are very shocked by these images and statements because we want to be a police of and for everyone.” 

“The behaviour of these colleagues, even though they were in their private time, is not in keeping with this and is completely unacceptable.”

READ MORE | How to support anti-racism in the Netherlands beyond social media

According to the police spokesperson, the six officers are denied access to all police locations while the investigation is open. 

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Feature Image:Depositphotos
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi Lamaury
Naomi came to the Netherlands four years ago for her studies with two suitcases and without ever having been to the country or knowing much about it. Now, you can find her eating ‘bitterballen’ and fighting against the Dutch wind on her bike every day like a local. Naomi enjoys writing about what is going on around her alongside a warm cup of coffee.

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