Demands for Rotterdam cops to be prosecuted over racist texts
Five anti-racism organizations launched proceedings to get a number of Rotterdam police officers prosecuted for racist and discriminatory messages they sent in a WhatsApp group. They filed an Article 12 procedure, with which the court can force the Public Prosecutor to bring a case to court.
This revolves around messages sent by five police officers in Rotterdam early in 2019. NRC published the content of the WhatsApp group in June. According to the newspaper, ethically diverse people were referred to as "kankervolk", "kutafrikanen" and "pauperallochtonen" - slurs that roughly translate to "cancer peoples", "cunt Africans", and "pauper immigrants".
Anti-racism groups Control Alt Delete, Radar, Spior, St. Ocan, and Concrete Blossom disagree. "We think it is punishable, because it concerns the statements themselves. When we look at the law, we do not see that the fact they were made in a WhatsApp group can be a reason for not prosecuting," spokesperson Jair Schalkwijk said to RTL Nieuws.
"These messages are the tip of the iceberg,' Schalkwijk said. "Not only for what these officers think, but also for what more officers think. And since the police really should be there for everyone, it is important that this is addressed."
The Rotterdam police told the broadcaster in response that the organizations are well within their rights to initiate an Article 12 procedure, and that the police respect that right. The police added, however, that an internal disciplinary investigation is still ongoing against the officers involved.
The officers are still at work during the investigation, according to RTL Nieuws.