‘Shocking’ footage shows German police officer ‘kneeling on 15-year-old boy’s neck’ during arrest in echoes of George Floyd
- German police filmed arresting 15-year-old boy in Dusseldorf on Saturday
- Video seems to show one officer kneeling on his neck in echoes of George Floyd
- Police say they were breaking up a riot, when boy intervened and attacked them
- Arrest is now being investigated, with state minister calling video ‘shocking’
Police in Germany are being investigated after an officer was seemingly caught kneeling on a teenager’s neck while he was being arrested.
Video taken in Dusseldorf’s old town on Saturday shows the 15-year-old boy being pinned down by two officers, one of whom places a knee around the boy’s head.
The arrest echoes that of George Floyd, who suffocated while an officer knelt on his neck during his arrest in Minneapolis in May.
Herbert Reul, interior minister for North Rhine-Westphalia, where Dusseldorf is located, called the video ‘shocking’ – but urged people not to rush to judgement.
Police officers in Germany have been placed under investigation after one officer appeared to place his knee on a 15-year-old boy’s neck during an arrest in Dusseldorf at the weekend
Police in Dusseldorf say officers were called to a restaurant in the city’s Old Town around 7.30pm to reports of ten people rioting.
When officers arrived they said the 15-year-old was nearby, and tried to intervene to stop them breaking up the riot.
Several witnesses told Die Welt that the boy molested the officers, shouted insults at them, and then assaulted them.
The officers tried to arrest the boy but he resisted, according to police officials, meaning they restrained him.
Footage of the incident shows the boy on the floor with one officer sitting on his legs with one of his arms twisted up behind his back.
Another officer then places a knee on the back of the boy’s head, trapping his other arm underneath his head.
The officer then moves his knee slightly lower as he tries to trap the boy’s hand under his other foot.
Onlookers can be heard shouting ‘get your knee down … brother, that’s not funny.’
Police say they were called to break up a riot when the boy – who was not involved – tried to stop the officers and assaulted them, leading to the arrest
The video was posted on social media where it quickly went viral, prompting Dusseldorf police to launch an investigation.
To ensure the probe remains independent, it will be carried out by the neighbouring Duisburg police force.
Interior minister Herbert Reul, said the 28-second footage only shows a small part of a larger incident, and urged people not to rush to judgement.
‘I do not want to justify the operation on Saturday evening in any way, but I also do not want to judge it prematurely,’ he said.
Placing a knee on the boy’s head would have been permitted under state guidelines on restraint, Reul said, but placing a knee on his neck would not.
There is not thought to be any police bodycamera footage of the incident, so it cannot be viewed from a different angle.
The boy was not harmed during the arrest, Welt reported, and none of the officers were injured.
He was arrested and taken to the local police station, before being released into the care of his legal guardians.
It comes after George Floyd choked to death while being arrested in Minneapolis in May, after officer Derek Chauvin placed a knee on his neck for nine minutes (pictured)
George Floyd died while being arrested in Minneapolis on May 25, accused of resisting officers after trying to use a counterfeit $20 in a store.
Video from the scene showed officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for nine minutes during the arrest, including two while he was unconscious.
Before losing consciousness, Floyd could be heard saying ‘I can’t breathe’ and ‘they’re going to kill me’ repeatedly.
Chauvin was subsequently fired along with three other officers who participated in the arrest, and has since been charged with murder.
The other officers – Tou Thao, James Kueng and Thomas Lane – have been charged with abetting second-degree murder.
The death sparked protests in Minneapolis which eventually spread around the world, as marchers called for an end to discrimination and cuts to police budgets.
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