Belgium: 'I have been victim of police violence' — Black MEP speaks out about racial discrimination

German Member of the European Parliament (MEP) Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana described being frisked and interrogated by police in an incident she considers «a racist and discriminatory act» in a speech at the European Parliament, in Brussels, on Wednesday. Herzberger-Fofana, who was born in Mali, said she started filming police «harassing two young black men» at a Brussels train station on Tuesday, when the police officers snatched her phone. «Four out of the nine armed policemen brutally pushed me against a wall, they violently grabbed my handbag, they blocked me against the wall, legs spread, and a policeman wanted to frisk me. I was treated in a humiliating way,» she said. «When I told the policeman that I was a member of the European Parliament, he did not believe me, even though he had both my passports in his hands, one being the European Parliament laissez-passer, and the German passport.» The European Parliament said it will complain to Belgian authorities about the incident, with European Parliament President David Sassoli saying they «owe us an explanation.» The European Parliament also held a minute of silence in tribute to the death of George Floyd during a police encounter in the US city of Minneapolis on May 25. Herzberger-Fofana's account echoes that of thousands of black men and women of all walks of life who have been speaking out about their encounters with police. Protests have been taking place worldwide over police brutality and racial discrimination, since Floyd's death.
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