Twenty-four people died in Dutch police custody last year
Last year, 24 people in the Netherlands died in police custody, according to new figures by Controle Alt Delete. That is eleven more deaths in police custody than the year before, said the organization that fights against ethnic profiling, among other things. The vast majority of people who died in police custody in the Netherlands in recent years were ethnically diverse.
Controle Alt Delete has been keeping track of deaths in police custody since 2016, basing their figures on annual reports from the police and Public Prosecution Service (OM) and investigations into police-related deaths by Bureau Beke.
Since 2016, 97 people have died in police custody in the Netherlands. The identity of a massive 65 percent of them is still unknown. That is 63 people whose name is unknown and who have no face and no voice, the organization said. Only 10 percent of these deaths involved people with Dutch-only nationality.
“Ethnically diverse Dutch people died 11 times more often under the responsibility of law enforcement than might be expected based on their share in the population,” Controle Alt Delete said. “In comparison, black Americans die 2.5 times more often than white Americans than would be expected based on their proportion of the population.”
Controle Alt Delete was shocked by the high number of deaths in police custody last year, project leader Jair Schalkwijk told NOS. “The number of deaths is considerably higher in 2022 than in previous years,” he said. “In our experience, there is no logical explanation for the increase. The taser, introduced in 2022, was intended to reduce civilian injury by reducing the gap between fist and firearm, the police said. But in 2022, the police fired more shots than in 2021.”
Controle Alt Delete’s figures are higher than those published by the OM earlier this week. According to the OM, 20 people died after contact with law enforcement last year, compared to 13 the year before.