Report: Rotterdam police shot innocent bystander during chase

A police officer fired shots while chasing an armed suspect through the streets of Rotterdam on Friday last week, hitting not only the suspect, but also 31 year old Rotterdam man Jurjen Adamson, an innocent bystander. 

The shooting happened in front of a Rotterdam cafe on Friday, July 31st. The terrace was surrounded by dozens of police officers with weapons drawn and shortly after Adamson saw the suspect the police were chasing. "When officers shouted 'Weapon! Weapon!' everyone ducked away scared. WE stumbled over each other. At that moment the police fired three times", Adamson told the AD.

Adamson, a scaffolder by profession, is now stuck at home with a bullet wound in his leg, losing out on income because he can not work. He is furious. "It could have ended o much worse", he said to the newspaper. "It was imprudent to start shooting, while the suspect did not look so dangerous."

"It was madness, because everyone was lying on top of each other, so the police could not possibly see well who they were shooting at. I do not know if the man was really armed, I did not see a weapon. But it could be. They got him in the back. For me it is a wonderful miracle that I was not hit in a vital organ."

After the shooting the police released a statement saying that the armed man, which they managed to arrest, had threatened the bar customers, according to the AD. "That is nonsense. I do not know that man and that sounds like a story to talk up the shooting." Adamson said.

The Rijksrecherche has launched an investigation into the shooting. Adamson has been questioned. So far the police would not give any comments on the incident. Nothing is known about the condition of the shot suspect, a 25 year old man with no fixed residence.

Adamson's lawyers are demanding a "thorough investigation" that includes studying the video footage. "Because it would appear tat our client has fallen victim to careless handling by the police", lawyer Ed Manders said to the newspaper.

This latest shooting incident comes at a bad time for the police. Last month a police officer from Kerkrade was sentenced to two years in prison for shooting a passenger in a fleeing vehicle. On Wednesday two Rotterdam police officers were acquitted for fatally shooting Mike Stok in 2013.

National Police Chief Gerard Bouman announced on Thursday that they will be establishing a team of top lawyers to defend police officers involved in shootings.

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