Twente policeman and far right election hopeful under investigation
Twente police are investigating statements reportedly made by a serving police officer who is leading the local election campaign for the far right Forum voor Democratie in Hengelo.
According to local newspaper TC Tubantia, Brian Geertshuis was so angered by the government’s coronavirus policies last year that he said in a chat group for Porsche fans: ‘I look forward to the day when the bastards responsible for this have their heads on the chopping block.That also eventually happened with the Nazis.’
He also repeatedly described coronavirus vaccines as ‘chemical rubbish’ and refused to wear a face mask in the town hall, even though it is required, the paper said.
‘I won’t do useless things,’ he told the paper. ‘I have my own moral compass.’
The investigation will focus on establishing if the police officer made the comments and if they are both within the law and the police code of conduct, the police said. If the claim is correct then then a number of the comment are ‘beyond what is acceptable’.
‘Everyone who works for the police is free to take a personal standpoint and to make this known,’ district police chief Karlijn Baalman said.
At the same time, she said, police officers have an exemplary role in society and maintaining neutrality is one of the most important pillars. ‘We do not take a position with regard to political parties and their positions. We are a police force for everyone, regardless of their political affiliations.’
Justice minister Dilan Yeşilgöz-Zegerius (VVD) has condemned Geerthuis’s comments. ‘This sort of comment… only contributes to the polarisation in society which the police have to confront on a daily basis,’ she said.
Geertshuis is not the only serving police officer to be campaigning for a local council seat on behalf of the far right party.
Theo Heller, who has a ‘management role’ in the technology department of the police regional operations department Dros, is not only spearheading the Forum campaign in the Noord-Brabant town of Helmond, but is also included on the Forum list of candidates in nearby Eindhoven.
‘Talks between Mr Heller and his superiors confirm there is no question of an unacceptable conflict of interest,’ a police spokeswoman told DutchNews.nl. ‘That would have been the case, for example, if Mr Heller worked for the Helmond force. In that case he would have been moved to another department.’
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