Hundreds arrested in Dutch protests over Caribbean man's death in custody

3rd July 2015, Comments 0 comments

Some 200 demonstrators were arrested overnight in the Dutch city of The Hague after clashes with police sparked by the death of a Caribbean man in police custody, authorities said Friday.

The police said the protestors threw rocks and fireworks at law enforcement officers.

Thursday's protests -- which had been outlawed by police -- were the fourth night of demonstrations over the death at the weekend of 42-year-old Mitch Henriquez from the Dutch island of Aruba.

Despite a call for calm from his family, the demonstrators smashed the windows of businesses, banks and a theatre in the predominantly immigrant neighbourhood of Schilderswijk, the police said.

Many of those arrested Thursday also been taken into custody the night before.

Henriquez died Sunday a day after being forcefully arrested at a music festival, with initial autopsy results indicating the likely cause of death was suffocation. There was no evidence of drugs or excessive alcohol in his system.

Dutch authorities have said it appears his suffocation was a result of the "police intervention."

Police said they moved to arrest Henriquez after he claimed to have a weapon, but he resisted and then became unwell on the way to the police station.

Mobile phone footage taken by witnesses of the arrest showed several police officers restraining and sitting on Henriquez, before his limp body was put in a police vehicle.

Five Dutch police officers have been suspended from their duties over the incident.


© 2015 AFP

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