Prosecute police for killing autistic man: Parents

The parents of a 23-year-old autistic and schizophrenic young man who was shot dead by the police in Amsterdam last year, want the Public Prosecutor to prosecute the police officers involved, ANP reports.

Earlier this week the Public Prosecutor concluded that no prosecution was necessary. The officers acted in self defense because the man attacked them with a knife.

The parents of the young man now filed an Article 12 procedure to try and force the Public Prosecutor to prosecute. They believe the Rijksrecherche, the department that handles internal investigation at the police, did not do a proper investigation. They also question the way in which the officers approached their son. 

The shooting happened in September last year, when the young man was supposed to be picked up to be admitted to a mental institution because he refused to take his medicine. As a precaution, his minder called the police to assist. 

Things went wrong when the police officers wanted to search the autistic and schizophrenic young man. "Suddenly there was shooting and he had six bullets in his stomach." the parents' lawyer Wieteke Drummen said to ANP. "Afterwards the police officers said that he had threatened them with a knife and attacked a policeman. It is noteworthy that bystanders noticed nothing of this escalation. It was quiet and then suddenly gunshots."

"The boy had on occasion said threatening things, but had never been aggressive and had never attacked anyone", the lawyer continued. "He was a patient who had to be safely transferred to a clinic, not a suspect."

According to Drummen, the police officers involved were questioned only two days after the shooting. "As a result, they had ample opportunity to tailor their story."

The lawyer believes that the police should have a specialized team to deal with disturbed people or psychiatric patients, a team with experience with mental health issues. "it requires a different course of action."