COPENHAGEN (AFP) – Six people were arrested in Copenhagen overnight after small groups of youths torched cars and dumpsters across the city for the sixth night in a row, police said on Saturday.
Up to eight others were arrested in towns across the country, media reported.
“In Copenhagen there were 28 cars set on fire, 35 dumpsters and 14 garbage fires in the streets,” Copenhagen police chief inspector Lau Thytesen told AFP.
Of the six people arrested in the capital, five were to be charged with arson while the sixth had been released, he said.
Other violence was reported in Denmark’s second biggest city Aarhus, as well as Odense and North Zealand.
The cause of the troubles was not known. The youths, who have acted in small groups with no apparent organisation, have not spoken out about their motive.
One of the organisers of a peaceful anti-racism demonstration held in Copenhagen on Friday, Rasmus Lingnau Amossen, told daily Politiken that many youngsters felt harassed by police and believed the police were racist.
New regulations allow police to search people at random for weapons, even without suspicion, in certain areas of Copenhagen, including the heavily immigrant areas of Noerrebro and Vesterbro where the troubles began last weekend.
“I’ve spoken with some of them and asked them why they’re doing it (rioting). And they said it was because of the harassment they’re subjected to in connection with the searches,” Amossen said.
“When police choose to stop everyone with Arab features or the wrong skin colour while they let other people pass by, it’s not about a specific effort anymore. It’s about racism,” he said.