Thursday, 9 July 2015 - 14:10
Lawyer: Another death caused by police chokehold
Police officers using chokeholds on suspects has caused at least one more death, according to lawyer Gerald Roethof in the television program EenVandaag. Roethof is representing the involved family. According to the lawyer, Suriname man Wensley Udenhout died after police intervention while on vacation in Amsterdam in 2013. The police were called in after complaints that the man was making noise on the balcony of his lodgings. According to Roethoft, the man died from suffocation and the police contributed to his death. "The chokehold was used, five officers piled on top of this man, for me it is pretty clear that the chokehold led to a fatality", the lawyer said. The lawyer wants the involved officers to be prosecuted for manslaughter. After an investigation by the Rijksrecherche, the Public Prosecutor concluded that the officers acted in accordance with the guidelines. Roethof is now appealing against that decision. On Wednesday The Hague Mayor Jozias van Aartsen announced that the Inspectorate for Security and Justice will be investigating the use of chokeholds by police officers, following the recent death of Mitch Henriquez. Geert Priem of police union ANVP told BNR that this might not be the right time for such an investigation. The union worries that social pressure will affect the investigation Priem said that the union is not against the investigation as a whole. "But the fact that this is happening under pubic and political pressure, you have the chance of it influencing the investigation."