'Police hit everyone': Danish officers use batons on citizens, violently detain man (VIDEOS)

© cadok2013
Video footage of police brutality has emerged from Copenhagen, showing officers hitting people with batons and violently detaining a man, despite onlookers saying he couldn't breathe. A videographer filming the chaos was left injured and bloodied.

The violence took place in Copenhagen's Christiania district as police were reportedly targeting the area's cannabis market.

The video, filmed and published online by documentary group Cadok, shows officers hitting people with batons as they run through the district.

“Police suddenly began hitting everyone who was watching," Cadok wrote on Facebook.

Officers are seen detaining a man while bystanders shout that he can't breathe. A separate clip reportedly shows police pulling a handicapped man out of his wheelchair.

A Cadok videographer was left injured and in need of an ambulance, his equipment damaged. A fund has since been established to raise money for the broken equipment.

The video has so far received thousands of views online.

Former police officer and current libertarian activist Lars Kragh Andersen was so outraged by the footage that he is offering a monetary reward for information on the officers involved.

“There is 5,000 kroner (US$765) waiting in cash or bitcoins to the person who can identify one or more of the violent assailants by name, address, photo and telephone number,” he wrote on Facebook.

However, Copenhagen Police Commissioner Steffen Steffensen has defended the officers' actions, saying they were responding to provocation.

“There were some people who were aggressive and yelling very loudly. A large group of people began throwing rocks and bottles and a colleague was hit in the arm. Our leader on site said that the batons should be drawn and that the officers should run through the crowd,” he told Ritzau news agency.

“It’s not our fault. We were put on this Earth to combat the cannabis trade in Christiania,” he added.

The video, released on Thursday, came just one day after Cadok published separate footage which showed officers arresting four people and pushing other individuals out of the way.

Although the sale of marijuana is illegal in Denmark, Christiania has long been known for its open cannabis trade, with the district's Pusher Street reportedly bringing in 1 billion kroner ($153 million) per year.