"Excessive violence" during arrest leads to brawl with cops; 4 arrested

Police
Police. (Politie)

An arrest on Kanaalstraat in Utrecht on Tuesday afternoon ended in a scuffle between the police and bystanders. A total of four people were arrested. According to the police, the scuffle broke out when bystanders interfered with the arrest. Multiple people posted videos of the incident on social media, many claiming that bystanders interfered with the arrest due to "excessive violence" used by the police, AD reports.

According to the police, the officers were trying to arrest a man who had outstanding community service that still needs to be served. The man resisted arrest, the police said in a statement. "At that moment, dozens of bystanders stood around the arrest. There was scolding, pushing, beating, kicking and pulling." One officer was kicked by a man jumping on him, and another got punched in the back of the head. "The officers were forced to pull their baton", the police said. 

The police also said that two women continued to interfere with the arrest, despite warnings, and pushed and pulled at the officers. The suspect whose arrest started this whole incident, managed to slip away in the commotion. "Soon after, the officers received assistance from colleagues and peace was restored."

Bystanders told newspaper AD that the police used "too much violence" during the arrest. "I said something about that", a woman, who asked not to be named, said to the newspaper. "Another pulled the cop away. He might have thought I did that, because then he started to hit me with a baton." The woman was injured in the arm, according to the newspaper. Another woman was also injured by a police baton. Both intend to press charges, according to the newspaper.

A police spokesperson told AD that he does not know how much violence was used during the arrest, nor does he know the precise circumstances of everything that happened afterwards. "But if bystanders believe that the use of the baton was not justified, they can always report to us. We will then process any complaints."

The police eventually arrested four people - including the man they originally tried to arrest. More arrests may follow, the police said. 

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