Death of 22-year-old shot by police sparks violent protests in Liège
Demonstrators clashed with police in Liège at the weekend following the death of a young man shot by police.
A 22-year-old driving a quad bike was shot dead by police on Friday afternoon in the commune of Oupeye, near the city of Liège. According to the Liège public prosecutor's office, the victim had driven his quad bike into a police officer after the officer had ordered him to stop. In response, another officer drew his weapon and fired at the driver.
Protests soon broke out and spread to nearby Herstal. A school was severely damaged, and several windows were smashed in nearby buildings.
"Here in Herstal, we saw rioters attacking the police, public property and even private property," said mayor Jean-Louis Lefèbvre. "Fortunately, our police force, well supported by neighbouring areas, managed to contain the damage, and we have not registered any injuries on either side."
"Fortunately, our police force, well supported by neighbouring areas, managed to contain the damage"
An assessment on Sunday morning listed damaged bus shelters, overturned and burnt glass recycling bins and damaged street furniture. A primary school was also severely affected. In addition, firefighters from Liège had to be called out twice to extinguish various fires.
In both Herstal and Oupeye, meetings have been scheduled between all the relevant authorities to assess the situation and take the necessary precautions for the coming days.
A damaged building in Herstal, Liège province © BELGA PHOTO LAURENT CAVENATI