On the night of Saturday, June 27, 2015, an open-air concert of UB40 was held in Zuiderpark in The Hague, the Netherlands, where cops brutally arrested a man of 42, Mitch Henriquez, a native of Ariba (a Caribbean island of the Netherlands), who was visiting his family in The Hague. He died in hospital the next day after being smothered by the pigs in the back of a van.
This police killing immediately sparked a wave of rage unleashed against the police: Monday night, hundreds of people took to the streets of the Schilderswijk neighbourhood: 200 people surrounded the area police station (‘De Heemstraat ‘) shouting “murderers, murderers !!” at the police. The cops charged the crowd around 21h using dogs and water cannons. The crowd responded by throwing stones and fireworks. Street furniture and a construction hangar were burned, shops and banks were attacked with cobblestones. Transport has to be interrupted throughout the evening. 16 people were arrested at the end of the night.
The anger continued to express itself the next two nights, during which police vehicles were smashed; the windows of several shops and banks and ATMs were destroyed. Rioters also attacked the local police station and a theatre: the furniture was out in the streets, used as barricades by the enraged. Cops confirmed in the press that bike cops had been assaulted by rioters in Hobbemaplplein and to get free, they made use of their guns. During the third night of riots, 34 suspected rioters were arrested, including 11 minors. A man was arrested for throwing gasoline on the officers, without harming them. During these three nights of riots, about 68 people were arrested.
The epicentre of the revolt is Schilderswijk, one of the poorest areas of the Netherlands, where 90% of the poor population is of Turkish and Moroccan origin.
As far as power is concerned, ministers call for calm while taking a critical stance vis-à-vis the police officers concerned in order to restore social peace. Five officers have been suspended for the duration of the investigation.
The authorities have already announced that video images will be analysed and further arrests are to follow.
[reformulated from the press in English]
Translated by Act for freedom now