"Cocaine poisoning" cause of Amersfoort prisoner's death; Forensic report clears police

Police guard in a detention center
Police guard in a detention center. Photo: Politie

A 30-year-old man from Nijkerk who early this year, died because of cocaine poisoning, according to the final autopsy report by the Netherlands Forensic Institute. Forensic scientists found no other reason for Bertus de Man's death, the Public Prosecutor said in a statement on Thursday.

De Man was arrested following a traffic check in Amersfoort on January 16th. He resisted during his arrest and transport to a cell complex in Houten. He became unwell at the cell complex. Police officers immediately started resuscitation, which was taken over by paramedics and continued at the hospital. He was declared dead a short time later. 

The first findings of the NFI in January concluded that De Man , strangulation, suffocation or heart failure, and therefore likely not due to police action. A day later, the toxicology results were known and the NFI concluded that De Man likely  The final report confirms that, the Prosecutor said. The report confirms that the cocaine concentration in De Man's blood was so high it led to his death. 

The NFI also looked into all observed injuries and bleedings. The researchers concluded that these were caused by "medical action, the long lasting attempts to resuscitate the man". The NFI considers it unlikely that police action in arresting the man played a role in his death. 

The investigation by the Rijksrecherche into the event is also complete. Based on its results, the Public Prosecutor concluded that "the police acted proportionally and legally. All in all, there is no indication of a criminal offense."

De Man's family asked for further investigation to be done by pathologist Frank van der Goot. The results of this investigation are not yet known.