Protest against police planned after man’s death following arrest

Flyer for a protest against police brutality following the dath of Paul Selier in police custody, February 2018
Flyer for a protest against police brutality following the dath of Paul Selier in police custody, February 2018Photo: Nick Hoogweg‎ / Facebook

A protest against police brutality is being planned Den Haag on February 19th, following the death of 39-year-old Paul Selier after being arrested in Waddinxveen on Friday morning. Singer John Medley submitted a request to protest to the municipality of Den Haag, Omroep West reports. The municipality still has to approve it. 

Video of the incident obtained by broadcaster Omroep West and viewable below this article seemed to show one police officer punching the man eight times in a 35-second period. An officer can be heard yelling "Cooperate, damn it!" in Dutch to the suspect. A statement released by the Public Prosecutor's office revealed that the police responded to Waddinxveen after receiving a report of a "disturbed" man on a public road.

Medley can't get these images out of his head. "We have to do something against this violence. Just shouting that you do not agree with it is not enough. I hope that many people take action, which is why I've made flyers", he said to the broadcaster.

Medley knew Selier from a camp site they both frequented. "He was a calm, friendly, hardworking guy", the singer said to the broadcaster. Speaking to newspaper AD, the singer describes Selier as a family man who always had a smile on his face and wouldn't hurt a fly. 

He emphasized that the protest, which he is arranging with Selier's cousin Sjaak Selier, should not be seen as a vote of no confidence against the police as such. "On the contrary, I am not against the police at all. What I am opposed to is that Paul seems to be the victim of an officer who had a bad day and could not control himself. Paul had no chance at all", he said to the newspaper. 

According to police scientist Jaap Timmer, it is too early to jump to conclusions about the arrest based on a video that's only 35 seconds long. The video doesn't show what happened before or afterwards, he said to NOS over the weekend. More time is needed to find out exactly what happened, Timmer said.

Forensic scientist Frank de Groot said that it takes more to beat someone to death than can be seen in the video, AD reports.