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Brussels police officer halts traffic to help woman cross road: 'That's what the public expects from us'
An image of a Brussels policeman helping a woman cross the street in Laeken, while carrying her bag, has been widely shared on social media.
The benevolent gesture was greeted by web users with mostly positive messages - in a period that has seen a number of incidents of alleged police violence and increased tension between the public and the police.
53-year-old Philippe, a policeman for 16 years, told RTBF that he was just doing his job. “It's part of our society. I did the right thing,” he said.
“That's what the public expects from us, the police. There are many citizens who would have done the same thing. You don't have to be a police officer for that. I would also like to thank all the anonymous people who help less mobile people on a daily basis.”
Explaining the context behind the photo, he said: “I noticed a lady who had difficulty crossing, we could see that she was afraid. The green light phase was not long enough for her. The traffic was heavy at this intersection.
“I blocked the traffic and helped the lady through. I also saw that her grocery bag was heavy. I helped her carry it for make it easier for her.
“The other motorists cooperated. There was no problem. No one honked or yelled. What really warmed my heart was that a large number of drivers started clapping when the woman got to the other side. They shouted in a positive way, addressing my colleague and me to congratulate us.
“I have been in the Brussels police for many years. And that is heartwarming. We live with human misery every day. This misery is forgotten when we receive congratulations from the public.”