Hundreds protest against police racism in Rotterdam
At least 500 protesters gathered at the police station on Marconiplein in Rotterdam on Sunday afternoon to demonstrate against racism in the police force. The protest was quiet and orderly, a police spokesperson said to NU.nl.
The protest was organized by the Rotterdam branch of BIJ1, after more racist and discriminatory messages sent by Rotterdam cops came to light.
Five police officers were previously reprimanded for calling ethnic minorities "cancer people", "cunt Africans", and "pauper immigrants", among other things, in a chat group. Last week, NRC reported that after 16-year-old Humeyra was murdered at her school in Rotterdam, one of the cops texted "one Turk less".
Many Rotterdam residents are angry about this racism. According to the protesters, cops with these ideas are not able to "keep people of color safe". A petition calling for the dismissal of the involved cops was signed nearly 7 thousand times. There were also calls for the dismissal of Rotterdam police chief Fred Westerbeke. Humeyra's parents were among the protesters, according to NU.nl.
Westerbeke gave the officers in question an official reprimand for the racist texts - the lightest form of punishment the police can give. He told Rijnmond that he does not want to dismiss the officers because they are good people who have never been complained about.