Police brutality claimed in teenager's arrest

Police. (Photo: Politie)

Stiven Sinisterra from Apeldoorn was violently arrested by police officers wearing civilian clothing in his hometown on Monday, only to be released a short time later when the police realized they got the wrong man, he told De Stentor. The experience left the 17-year-old with a concussion, a bruised knee and a head wound.

According to the newspaper, police officers were observing a home in De Maten, Apeldoorn as part of a Rotterdam investigation into robberies committed after Marktplaats appointments. The police were looking for an armed and dangerous man. When the teenager left the home they were observing, the police mistook him for the suspect and arrested him.

"I left the house with a friend, walking. At one point I noticed that we were being followed, I was afraid that we would be robbed", Stiven said to the newspaper. "I said to the friend, just hide your phone. The next moment I was grabbed by the neck, pushed to the ground. I was held in some kind of grip, I said I couldn't breathe. But I was told not to resist."

The cops asked Stiven who he is and with whom he was in the house. "I was put in the car handcuffed. And then, I think, they heard that they were wrong and my handcuffs were loosened and I could get out."

In a statement on their website, the police wrote that they were keeping an eye on the house in the search for an armed man. "As this was an armed suspect, the officers too no risk. When the man came out of the house, he was surprised and overpowered and worked against the ground. However, the overpowered man turned out not to be the suspect, but a 17-year-old boy who also stayed in the house. The boy was released immediately. Officers offered him apologies and explained why the team acted in this way."

But according to Stiven, this is not true. "Until the press release came, I did not know why they did this. I also received no apologies from the police."

A 21-year-old man from Huizen was later arrested in the house. 

Stiven doesn't know how the police mistook him for the suspect. "I saw him, I was visiting the house and he was there. But there are terribly many differences between me and him. He does have dark skin, but we do not look like each other at all. I have a very different posture, I'm slender, 55 kilos."

The Apeldoorn teenager is angry about what happened to him. "How could they handle me like that? That the police who should protect me did this to me. They made a mistake, but I'm living with the consequences. I haven't slept, can't eat and my whole body hurts."