Rotterdam riots: Over 50 arrests, 10 cops injured
The Rotterdam police arrested over 50 people during riots in the city on Monday evening. Around 10 police officers were injured during the disturbances, police chief Fred Westerbeke said to NOS Radio 1 Journaal.
Rotterdam was one of many Dutch cities that faced riots and unrest on Monday, the third night of the coronavirus curfew and also the third night of rioting in the country.
In Rotterdam, especially around Beijerlandselaan in Rotterdam Zuid, shops were looted, rioters pelted the police with stones and fireworks, and hindered first responders in their duties.
“What I find even worse: we had situations where people were in need, such as a disabled girl with choking symptoms and a man who had problems with his heart,” Westerbeke said to the broadcaster. First responders were initially unable to reach the patients, because rioters barred their way. Fortunately, they reached the two patients in time, Westerbeke said. But “I think these are very serious examples.”
The police were on the street in large numbers in the city, Westerbeke said. “We were mainly present in places that circulated on social media. In a number of places, we quickly managed to restore peace, but in Rotterdam Zuid it immediately become so big an violent that we could not deescalate. The riot police had to intervene immediately.”
Westerbeke hopes that people will “regain their senses” at some point. “And that there will be more social control, that people will address each other. Because the police cannot do this alone.”