A protest action by several hundred people in Brussels following the sudden death of a 23-year-old detainee turned into riots on Wednesday evening. Protesters called the police murderers, pelted officers and set fire to, among other things, a neighboring police post. One has been injured and the police have made several arrests.
23-year-old Ibrahima Barrie was arrested on Saturday evening around 7 p.m. after a chase by the police. He had fled from a check at the Brussels North station.
Officers took him to the police station for questioning, but upon arrival he passed out. Barrie was taken to hospital by ambulance, where he died around 8:30 PM. It is not yet clear whether there is a link between the arrest and his death.
A special team is investigating whether the police have crossed the line in the arrest of Barrie. The police’s dealings with his family, who would not have been informed until hours after Barrie’s death and who were left with more questions than answers, is also being examined.
The police have had a difficult relationship with the residents of the neighborhood around Brussels-North station for some time now. In recent times, police chases or arrests have been fatal on several occasions, leading to riots.