A police officer who was fined €250 for using racist language when called out to deal with a dispute between neighbours has been promoted to a leadership role within the “vreemdelingenpolitie”, a special police force that focuses on immigrants and residency rights.
The 54-year-old from Dordrecht was caught on camera using the N-word after fighting broke out when he had been called to deal with a noise dispute between locals.
“It is bizarre that this police officer has been given a job with the foreigner police,” Justin Kötter, the lawyer who represented the family the police officer had yelled at, told the AD. “Origins have an important role in dealings with the foreign police and the force should not include an officer who has expressed racist sentiments.”
Rotterdam police chief Fred Westerbeke apologised for the incident last year, telling television current affairs show EenVandaag the use of the word was “unacceptable”.
Despite this, the police have confirmed the officer’s new job, saying it is for an initial period of six months, but declined to comment on what his duties will be, the AD reported.
The appointment was met with disbelief by former police officer and whistleblower Fatima Aboulouafa who was sacked after raising the issue of racism within the force.
“A police officer who has been accused of discrimination is given a leadership role in a department focusing on foreigners, and in which sensitivity and cultural competence are crucial,” she said. “This is disturbing.”
The police have pledged to do more to tackle racism within their ranks and acting police chief Liesbeth Huyzer said last year that perpetrators would be sacked if necessary.
However, the NRC reported this April serving police officers had made 30 formal reports about racist or discriminatory comments by their colleagues within six months.
One of those incidents involved an officer in The Hague who was sent home after making ‘extremely inappropriate comments’ on social media. The officer is an active member of the far-right PVV party and was a candidate in the local elections last year.
Several police officers stood as candidates for the party in the 2022 local elections.
The police were also criticised for not taking more serious action against six officers from Oost-Nederland after footage emerged of them involved in racist chanting in Paris.
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