Józef Chovanec, who comes from Slovakia, was detained at Charleroi Airport in February 2018 near Brusselsafter he refused to present the ticket and his behavior was judged inappropriate. Placed in an airport cell after a few hours in confinement, it began hitting the head against the wall, causing the head to bleed.
The video, released on Thursday, shows federal aviation police officers entering the cell and forcing Chovanec to lie on the bed, restricting the man’s movements. One of the officers is sitting on the Slovak for a long time. During this time – as you can see in the recording – one of the policewomen raises her hand in a Nazi salute and puts two staves under her nose in a gesture that resembles the characteristic mustache of Adolf Hitler.
The 38-year-old man who was treated died a few days later from cardiac arrest.
Minister of Justice Belgian Federal government Koen Geens described the video as “shocking” and the police’s behavior as inappropriate.
On Thursday evening, Andre Desenfants, the deputy chief of the federal police, responsible for the aviation units, announced that he was leaving his post. As VRT quoted by the public broadcaster explained, it was his personal decision, even though he did not make a mistake in this matter.
Desenfants said he had not resigned, but had temporarily left his position pending an investigation. The deputy chief of police added that the matter touched him personally, so he asked the commissioner general to replace him for the necessary time.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Charleroi said that the investigation into the Slovak’s death will soon be completed.
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