Policeman in national day brawl should be suspended: watchdog

Illustrative photo of police logo Library photo: Sebastien Goossens |SG9

Illustrative photo of police logo Library photo: Sebastien Goossens |SG9

A Luxembourg police watchdog in October recommended for an officer linked to a violent altercation at this year’s national day to be suspended, the inspector general has confirmed to Delano.

During the night from 22 to 23 June this year, police clashed with a group of teenagers. One person suffered severe injuries to their face, reportedly from being beaten with a police baton.

A police officer was charged with willful bodily harm during the investigation. Court proceedings are ongoing but while a verdict is still pending, the police inspectorate (IGP) has said the man should be suspended from service.

The Luxemburger Wort on Monday reported that the IGP had recommended the suspension. Monique Stirn, inspector general at the police watchdog, confirmed the information to Delano.

Stirn cited a 2018 law, which says that a police officer subject to an investigation or disciplinary procedure can be suspended for up to six months--with an extension of six months possible--or until the investigation is concluded. The inspector general said she issued the recommendation on 19 October to the interior security minister, Henri Kox (Déi Gréng).

Following procedure, Kox informed the officer of the pending decision, giving him eight days to respond to the allegations. A letter informing the officer of the final decision was sent on 8 November, the interior security ministry told Delano.

A spokesperson would not confirm the decision reached, saying the policeman concerned should receive the news first.

The police inspectorate had issued a call for witnesses and video or photo material in July as it investigated the matter. Several videos had emerged on social media and were heavily debated in comments sections.

The Wort also reported that the police had pressed charged against six people for threats against officers. The Luxembourg police force did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Delano.