Hague cop threatened after Aruban man's death
A Schilderswijk cop is being threatened after falsely being named the man the one responsible for Mitch Henriquez' death. Marius Blok told his story on the police website.
Blok has been working as a police officer in Schilderswijk since 2000. At the time Mitch Henriquez was arrested at the Night in the Park music festival in Zuiderpark, The Hague, Blok was working in Schilderswijk. On June 30th he found out that a picture of him was being spread on the internet, labeling him as "the murderer of Mitch."
The accusation and subsequent threats touched him deeply. "I was really enormously surprised. At that moment I was not even working in the Zuiderpark. I'm upset. Angry. I find it incomprehensible that people, from their emotion or from sensationalism, blindly spread such a message. That they do not realize how much suffering they cause to other people", he said.
Blok tells how two people confronted him on the allegations on Thursday, July 2nd. The first was a little girl of about 9 years, who told him he was a "dirty man, such a dirty man because you killed Mitch". "I wished that I could disappear from the earth at that point", Blok says. "Her words caused me such pain. It is indescribable."
Before he returned to the station, a man Blok knows from his work in the neighborhood approached him. "He dragged me into a niche; no one could see that he was speaking to me", Blok says. The man asked him to please not leave Schilderswijk. "Don't let my 11 year old daughter fall into the hands of malignants", the man said to him.
According to Blok, he can not get those two conversations out of his head. "Those two moments are burned into my brain. In my head it shoots from the 9 year old girl with her remark, to the man with his 11 year old daughter. One minute the girl wins, the next moment the father..."
Blok still loves his neighborhood. "I love the real people who live there. I've always tried to stand up for the people who try to make something of the neighborhood, to help them. As a team we are committed to the neighborhood. I'm not saying that nothing ever goes wrong, but we are putting everything we have into Schilderswijk. From within the team we try to stand in the center of the community. Making no distinction between one and another."
In the days after his photo being spread on social media, Blok kept working in Schilderswijk. He noticed more and more people recognizing him on the street, accusing and threatening him. "Sometimes I could feel the hatred in the people's eyes when they look at me."
He is struggling with the consequences of the treats against him and sometimes wonders whether he should just leave. "Of course I want to be able to just live as a human being. Without fear, without feeling that people are looking at me. The easiest would be if I leave everything behind me and go on holiday. And leave the neighborhood after that. But that would mean a success for these hate mongers who accuse me on the internet. Never that. I refuse to give in!"
Paul van Musscher, police chief in The Hague Unit, calls these threats against policemen intolerable. "The impact is not only huge on themselves or how they do their jobs, but also on their families. e will never tolerate violence and threats against officers. Even if it happens through social media. We are making very effort to trace and arrest the perpetrators."