Cop acquitted on appeal for Aruban man's fatal arrest

One of two police officers involved in the fatal arrest of Mitch Henriquez was sentenced on appeal to a six-month long suspended prison sentence. The other police officer was acquitted by the court of The Hague on Wednesday, AD reports.

The police officer given a suspended sentence, designated as DH01 in the trial, was the one who used a chokehold on the Aruban man during his arrest at a music festival in The Hague in June 2015. Henriquez died shortly after the arrest. The court acquitted DH01 of manslaughter, but convicted him of assault resulting in death. The court ruled that all actions by the other officer, DH02, were lawful and justifiable and therefore acquitted him completely.

This goes against the wishes of the Public Prosecutor and Henriquez' family. In April, the Public Prosecutor demanded six months in prison against the two police officers, as well as a suspension from the police force for two years. 

In December 2017, when this case was first tried, the court convicted both officers of assault with death as a result. They were both given suspended prison sentences of 6 months. The cops appealed.

Henriquez was arrested during a music festival in Zuiderpark in The Hague on 27 June 2015. He shouted several times at the police that he had a weapon, while grabbing his crotch. A total of five police officers were involved in the 42-year-old Aruban man's arrest. Henriquez resisted arrest and the officers used violence against him. He later died in hospital. Two police officers were eventually prosecuted for his death.

"A justified arrest of a drunk man who made annoying jokes, but it should have been a normal arrest", the Public Prosecutor said in court in April. "But the arrest was far from normal and Henriquez did not deserve that."