Belgian Police Officer Allegedly Made Nazi Salute In Cell Of Man Who Died

(Photo by BENOIT DOPPAGNE/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images)

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Kaylee Greenlee Immigration and Extremism Reporter
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A Slovakian man died after a Belgian officer reportedly sat on his rib cage for 16 minutes while another allegedly made a Nazi salute, according to the Guardian.

Jozef Chovanec, 38, was arrested for causing a disturbance while boarding a plane to Bratislava, Slovakia, in February 2018 at the Brussels South Charleroi airport, the Guardian reported. Officials took Chovanec to a holding cell, where he reportedly banged his head against the wall until it started bleeding, video of the incident released by Het Laatse Nieuws on Wednesday shows.

Police can be seen in the video holding Chovanec down, while one officer sits on his rib cage. Chovanec died at the hospital the following day, according to the Guardian.

“When [the police] saw the blood, they should have given him first aid. Instead they sat on him with so many people. He couldn’t breathe properly,” Chovanec’s wife, Henrieta Chovancova, said according to The Guardian.

Chovancova said George Floyd’s death in May reminded her of her husband and that she’s worried the case is being covered up, the Guardian reported.

The incident has been under investigation for the last two and a half years, according to a spokesperson for Charleroi’s prosecutor, the Guardian reported. The spokesperson told Belgian media that the coronavirus pandemic delayed the investigation, though all of the officers have reportedly been interviewed.

“I am, like so many people, shocked by the images in the press,” Charleroi Mayor Paul Magnette tweeted Thursday.

“This behaviour is unacceptable. As for the federal police, under the authority of the Minister of Interior I am asking the latter to do everything to shed light on these acts,” he added.

The officer who allegedly made a Nazi salute will be dismissed, according to a police source, the Guardian reported. (RELATED: Former MPD Officer’s Lawyer Says He’ll Argue That George Floyd ‘Killed HImself’)

Chovanec’s autopsy showed he was not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, the Guardian reported.

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