Seven police-involved shootings in first half of 2019; fatalities same as last year

Dutch police officer with service firearm
Dutch police officer with service firearmPhoto: Politie

In the first half of 2019 the Rijksrechreche investigated seven police-involved shootings. In these shootings, three people were killed and four were wounded. In all of 2018 there were 27 police shootings with 26 injuries and three fatalities, the Public Prosecutor announced on Monday. 

The Rijksrecherche, an investigation service that forms part of the Public Prosecution Service and conducts internal investigations at government services like the police, investigates all incidents in which a police officer fired their service weapon and someone was hurt or killed. Based on the results of the Rijksrecherche investigation, the Public Prosecutor decides whether the actions of the police officer involved were justified and whether they will be prosecuted.

In February an armed man was shot by police at Dutch central bank DNB in Amsterdam. The man was struggling with mental health issues and decided to commit suicide by cop, his mother told Het Parool after the incident. In April the police shot a man with a cleaver on an Etten-Leur street. The man died in hospital later.

The number of police-involved shootings in the Netherlands has been hovering around low thirties, high twenties for years. In 2014 there were 33 such shootings with two fatalities, in 2015 there were 30 with no fatalities, in 2016 there were 34 with four fatalities, in 2017 there were 23 with three fatalities, and last year there were 27 also with three fatalities.