Police officers won’t be prosecuted for shootout after Amsterdam armored truck robbery
The officers who were involved in a shootout in Broek in Waterland with the alleged robbers of an armored truck last year will not be prosecuted. The Public Prosecution Service (OM) said it was justifiable that the 13 police officers opened fire. The officers used their weapons due to the emergency situation, and to allow them to apprehend the suspects, the OM for Noord-Holland concluded after an investigation.
The gunshots killed one of the suspects, a 47-year-old man from France. Two others were injured, having suffered gunshot wounds to the legs.
The robbery of the vehicle happened on May 19 last year at the Schöne Edelmetaal facility on Meeuwenlaan in Amsterdam-Noord. Several robbers wearing balaclavas shot rounds from automatic firearms, according to the OM. After the robbery, they took off with millions of euros worth of loot in three cars, and separate police-involved chases ensued. Six suspects were eventually arrested in a meadow in Broek in Waterland. Several more arrests were made later, including in Belgium and France.
In assessing the actions of the police, two situations were considered. The first was that the police fired shots when the robbers transferred the money and fled in waiting cars. At that time, automatic firearms were also shot at the police, according to the OM. The second situation in which officers opened fire was when the robbers fled into the meadow. According to the judiciary, it was not clear whether the suspects were still armed.
Later it turned out that one person was armed. Although no shots were fired at the police at that moment, the officers were still allowed to use their weapons to apprehend the robbers, according to the OM. Just before that, the police were put in a life-threatening situation, the prosecution service said. "There was a constant threat to both the police and others. The robbers had to be stopped as soon as possible and that was only possible in this situation; by using the firearm."
It was "an unprecedentedly violent situation in broad daylight that many people witnessed,” according to the OM. "The incident had a major social impact. It is of course regrettable that one person was killed and two people were injured."
Reporting by ANP