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Wednesday, May 25, 2016

For spraying protesters with a pepper spray, Belgian police chief receives heavy blow on his head (Photos)

The chief of police in Brussels was injured when he tried to stop angry protesters on his own with a pepper spray.

Police chief Pierre Vandersmissen was treated for a head injury after he was attacked during the anti-austerity demonstration which involved around 50,000 people on Tuesday.

He was singled out after he broke off from the main police group and started chasing protesters.

Vandersmissen was wearing no protective clothing and was soon outnumbered. 

The protester landed a heavy blow to his head which sent him to the floor unconscious.

The police commissioner was taken to hospital and is expected to be released on Wednesday.

The demonstration was called to protest the centre-right government's social and economic policies, which trade unions say cut deep into the foundations of Belgium's welfare state.

In all, two police officials and eight protesters were injured in the clashes, during which police fired water cannons. About a dozen people were detained.

It was a repeat of previous anti-austerity protests when the violence of dozens overshadowed the march of tens of thousands.

The government said in a statement 'it condemns the violence committed by a minority' but added it took note of the large size of the demonstration demanding changes.

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