Heated clashes between football fans and police in Zurich
A week after authorities in Zurich called for police to be equipped with bodycams, there were a number of violent clashes between officers and football fans.
On Sunday afternoon, police reportedly employed tear gas and rubber bullets after around 20 to 25 fans of Switzerland’s FC Basel football club tried to attack passers-by at Zurich’s Altstetten train station in the wake of a match between FC Basel and FC Zurich.
The FC Basel fans then boarded a train to the northern city but after 100 metres the emergency brake was pulled with a number of fans trying to leave the train and stir up more trouble. Police then used tear gas a second time, Swiss news portal 20 Minuten wrote in an unconfirmed report.
Also this weekend, early on Saturday morning police were threatened and objects hurled at them as they tried to intervene in a violent clash between two groups. Those attacking the police were wearing FC Zurich fan gear, police said.
Officers had to withdraw and call for backup as they dealt with an incident in which two people were seriously injured, Swiss daily NZZ reported.
Meanwhile, later on Saturday police were called in to deal with a clash between two suspected groups of football hooligans in Zurich’s Kreis 5 district. Four people were arrested. During the arrests, however, officers were attacked. Rubber bullets were employed in the incident and one officer was injured.
This weekend’s incidents came just days after Zurich authorities called for police to be equipped with body worn videos (BMVs). That call came after a group of some 200 to 300 masked individuals wearing FC Zürich football club fan gear attacked police and medics near the city’s opera house.
Zurich City Hall and the cantonal parliament must now approve any move that would allow the city's force to become the first in Switzerland to wear the controversial body cameras.