Aboutaleb: Racism in app groups of agents goes ‘beyond borders’ | NOW

The racist statements in app groups of Rotterdam agents “went beyond borders in language and text,” Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb wrote in a letter to the city council on Wednesday. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) will examine whether a criminal investigation is involved.

The nine agents spoke in the app group about “cancer people”, “cunt Africans” and “pauper allochtones”. Screenshots of the conversations that took place last year are owned by NRC. The newspaper wrote about it in an article on Wednesday.

Aboutaleb writes that he is aware that racism and discrimination exist in the police, but at the same time he is “shocked at the seriousness and deeply disappointed in this behavior”.

“The statements in the app group exceeded all boundaries in language and text, and went far beyond the framework of the professional space in which police officers can move. This has ruined a safe working atmosphere, shaming the confidence of other police officers and of Rotterdammers.”

‘Case should have been discussed more widely’

Following the news, Karin Krukkert, deputy police chief of Rotterdam, left NRC know that some agents reported the language at the time. The app group was subsequently closed, but the incident was not reported to the police force. “Given the seriousness of the shared reports, we believe that this matter should have been discussed and assessed more widely internally at the time,” she says.

“Discrimination and racism do not belong to the police. If this behavior is exposed, it is necessary to take firm action. The police unit forces have assured me that an in-depth investigation will be conducted in response to this incident. Depending on the outcome of the investigation, the investigation will take any measures, “says Aboutaleb.

In addition to internal investigations, the Public Prosecution Service (OM) examines whether a criminal investigation is also required.

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