Ban police chokeholds after George Floyd's death: Dutch coalition party
Coalition party D66 wants to ban the police from using chokeholds on people. The chokehold too often leads to fatalities and "has also come to symbolize situations in which the monopoly on violence is aimed at an unarmed person of color," the party said to NOS.
According to the D66, police brutality is much less common in the Netherlands than in the United States, but a chokehold is still not appropriate in modern society. "A police force for all should not use a technique that too often kills, and has become a symbol of situations where a totality of violence is aimed at an unarmed person of color," the D66 said, according to newswire ANP.
The party also called it striking that situations involving Dutch police which get out of hand often involve Dutch citizens with an immigration background.
"Fortunately the chokehold is rarely used in the Netherlands, but we have seen what the consequences could be in America," D66 leader Rob Jetten said to NOS.
The recent death in custody of American George Floyd, who died after a police officer kneeled on his neck for over eight minutes, is reminiscent of the death of Aruban man Mitch Henriquez in the Netherlands, Jetten said.
Henriquez was arrested at a music festival in The Hague in 2015. Arresting officers used pepper spray, a baton and a chokehold on him, with an official police report claiming he became unwell not at the scene, but while being transported by police away from the festival location. He died in hospital a day later.
Five police officers were involved in the arrest, one of them was eventually given a suspended prison sentence of six months for his death.
Parliamentarian Dilan Yesilgöz, who is a representative of Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD party, criticized a D66 colleague for raising the issue with Ferd Grapperhause, the justice and security minister. She said “it doesn't help” to use “stories and rhetoric from the United States” and apply it to the Netherlands, ANP wrote.
Chris van Dam, a member of coalition party CDA, accused D66 of being a political party which is "anti-police," ANP reported.