US soldiers demonstrating a chokehold (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Army photo by Timothy Hale) - Credit: US soldiers demonstrating a chokehold (Picture: Wikimedia Commons/U.S. Army photo by Timothy Hale)
Thursday, 17 September 2015 - 14:36
Court: Police may continue chokehold use despite fatal July arrest
The court in The Hague has ruled that the police may continue using the highly controversial chokehold during the course of their duties. The court can not conclude that the chokehold is illegal. According to the judge, police are allowed to use appropriate force. Whether that force was justified and proportionate must be assessed in individual cases. The use of the chokehold is currently under investigation by the Inspectorate for Security and Justice. It is up to Minister Ard van der Steur whether or not to take action based on the findings of the investigation, a judge can not intervene in this. This lawsuit was filed against the State by activist Frank van der Linde, who himself has experienced a chokehold. He demanded that the court ban the technique as the police use it without specifically training officers how to do it. The State lawyer argued that the chokehold is used only in exceptional cases. Adding that it is a conscious choice not to teach it to police officers so that the technique is only used as a last resort. Van der Linde is disappointed in the judge's decision, he told NU. "You get the feeling that there must be more deaths before we stop to think about what we are doing." he said to the newspaper. Van der Linde has now launched a crowdfunding action to raise the 1,400 euros in court costs, which the court ruled he must pay. The recent controversy surrounding the police's use of the chokehold started with the death of Aruban man Mitch Henriquez after his arrest at a music festival in The Hague earlier this year. The autopsy showed that the most likely cause of his death is suffocation. A chokehold was used on him in his arrest.