Police-involved violence to always get benefit of doubt: Justice Min.
Police officers will no longer automatically be considered a suspect following a violent incident. Instead there will be an investigation working on the assumption that they acted according to the law, according to a bill Minister Ard van der Steur of Security and Justice revealed on Tuesday, NU.nl reports. Van der Steur wants to do more to take the "special and often vulnerable position" of police officers into account. He does not want to hold officers above the law, but believes that they should be handled differently in violent incidents with a fatal result, according to the newspaper. A "good and thorough" investigation will be done in all violent incidents involving police officers. If they did not act according to the rules, a maximum penalty of three years in prison may be imposed on them if someone was killed, according to the bill. "They are not only authorized to use violence, but in situations in which another can withdraw to avoid using violence to defend himself, policemen are expected to take action in that situation", Van der Steur writes. Van der Steur announced his intention for such a bill in September last year, after police brutality was the center of public attention due to fatal incidents involving officers. The case that started it all was the death of Mitch Henriquez in The Hague. He suffocated while being arrested on June 28th last year.