The Dutch Minister of Justice said on Sunday that the rioters in Rotterdam were mainly caused by football fans. “These circles have links with organized crime groups,” said Ferd Grapperhaus.
On Friday evening, a demonstration in the center of Rotterdam turned into violent riots in which police opened fire. Seven people were injured, including policemen, a journalist and demonstrators, and over 50 were arrested.
It was an orgy of violence – said the mayor of the city, Ahmed Aboutaleb.
Vandals put up barricades, set fire to vehicles, attacked officers Aboutaleb enumerated, adding that he was not surprised that “the police were forced to defend themselves”.
The last time the police used a gun during the riots in Hoek van Holland in 2009 Jaap Timmer, a professional police scientist, told NOS Radio 1. The officers then shot an aggressive man who attacked plainclothes policemen with a group of hooligans.
Already on Friday, the local Rijnmond website reported that fans of the local football club Feyenoord dominated among the most aggressive participants. Now, Minister Grapperhaus clearly points to hooligans as guilty of the outbreak of the riots.
The police have a clear understanding of the situation – announced the head of the Ministry of Justice, quoted by the NOS website. In his opinion, the culprits should be found among football hooligans who have “ties to organized crime groups”.
According to Grapperhaus, a distinction must be made between rebellious young people and “hooligans, using extreme violence against the police and firefighters.”
In his opinion, the Friday demonstration of opponents of government policy in the fight against the coronavirus was simply used by football fans to start a row.