Police officer who accidentally shot a suspect will be tried for "culpable homicide"
Prosecutors will pursue a criminal case against a police officer whose gun went off accidentally during an arrest, leaving a 27-year-old man dead at the scene. The incident happened at about 7:15 p.m. on Larixplein in Waalwijk on March 17 when a police tactical team attempted to arrest the man. At the time, police said he was a suspect in an ongoing drug investigation.
The Public Prosecution Service (OM) will press a case of culpable homicide against the officer. The OM said in a statement on Thursday that the officer, "did not act in accordance with the trained procedure for the use of firearms." This led to the officer's weapon unintentionally discharging, an incident which killed the suspect they tactical team was attempting to take into custody.
An investigation was carried out by the Rijksrecherche, which handles independent internal investigations of government offices, including the use of force by police officers. The investigation showed that the police officer did not keep their finger on the pistol slide when aiming the weapon at the suspect, according to the OM.
Prosecutors said that police officers are trained to keep their fingers off the trigger in such situations. As such, "significant blame" should be placed on the officer for the incident, for not following the proper procedure when drawing a firearm, the OM concluded.
The police officer was notified of the OM's decision. The case will be heard by a special courtroom set up by the Midden-Nederland District Court in Utrecht to handle prosecutions of police officers and other commissioned peace officers when they use force while on the job.