Cops file appeal against assault conviction in fatal arrest

Two police officers convicted for the fatal arrest of Mitch Henriquez in June 2015 will appeal against the sentence of their trial, AD reports.

Last month the officers were given a conditionally suspended prison sentence of 6 months, with one year probation. The judge ruled that the two officers were guilty of assault resulting in the death of Henriquez.

The 42-year-old Aruban was arrested at a music festival in the Zuiderpark in The Hague on June 27th, 2015. Henriquez shouted several times that he had a weapon on him. He was arrested after several warnings. He resisted the arrest and the officers used violence. He died one day later. Only two of the five officers involved in the arrest were prosecuted.

"The Court can not give one conviction for both agents. The defenses' opinion is that the appropriate sentence would be an integral acquittal", the officers' lawyer said to AD. The judge ruled in the sentence that the two agents had made a big mistake with serious consequences, although he did recognize the particular situation they found themselves in, "If there is a threat of trouble or danger a civilian can walk away. But an agent can't".

The Public Prosecutor demanded no sentence against the two police officers, only asking for an admission of guilt for assault, but announced it is not going to appeal the sentence. "On most points the Court follows the positions of the prosecutors. And where it does not, it is sufficiently argued", the Prosecutor said.

During the trial the two agents were shielded and anonymous for the whole time in an high-security courtroom in Schiphol. Their names were not revealed. In court they were referred to as DH01 and DH02. Their identity is protected for safety reasons, since they and their families have received many threats after the arrest.