Cop to be prosecuted for hurting woman with water cannon during Eindhoven Covid riots
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) will prosecute a policewoman for injuring a woman during coronavirus riots in Eindhoven on January 24 last year. The officer shot the woman down with a water cannon. She suffered severe injuries as a result. According to the OM, the cop’s actions were “disproportionate.” She faces charges of assault.
According to the OM, the woman involved was “for no apparent reason” on 18 Septemberplein with her boyfriend. She filmed the police response from the roof of a bicycle shed. She climbed off the roof when the water cannon entered the square. The officer shot the woman and her boyfriend with a jet of water. The boyfriend threw a chain lock toward the water cannon, according to the OM. The water cannon then shot the woman from a short distance, slamming her head against the shed wall. Images of the incident went viral on social media. The woman pressed charges of attempted manslaughter.
According to the OM, the subsequent investigation by the Rijksrecherche showed that the police’s actions were not in accordance with the applicable instructions. A water cannon is intended to disrupt crowds gathered during riots, not to target individuals. The officer involved wanted to stop the man, but she could have used a different, less drastic way to do so, the OM said.
Police union ACP is “irritated that the OM decided to prosecute the cop. This reinforces the image that the police use violence for no reason, ACP chairman Wim Groeneweg said to Omroep Brabant. He doesn’t say that the cop didn’t make a mistake, but prosecution is not the right solution, he thinks. “This is a totally wrong signal.”
“Police officers are increasingly becoming the head of Jut for government policy. Whether it concerns coronavirus restrictions, like with the riots in Eindhoven last year, or recently with the nitrogen policy. Police officers really don’t leave home in the morning to hurt anyone. Unlike those people they have to act against, by the way,” Groeneweg said.
Alsof ondernemers het nog niet moeilijk genoeg hadden door #corona. Plunderingen, vernielingen, meubilair van horeca op straat gegooid en/of in brand gestoken. In #Eindhoven moeten we nu kijken hoe we samen getroffen ondernemers kunnen helpen. pic.twitter.com/KM1uwHeydi— Tjeerd S. Ritmeester (@TSR1989) January 24, 2021
Reporting by ANP and NL Times