March for murdered teen goes ahead
30 March 2006, AMSTERDAM — Police estimate between 500 and 800 people took part in a silent march in Amersfoort on Wednesday evening to commemorate the 16-year-old youth who was shot dead in the city on Saturday.
30 March 2006
AMSTERDAM — Police estimate between 500 and 800 people took part in a silent march in Amersfoort on Wednesday evening to commemorate the 16-year-old youth who was shot dead in the city on Saturday.
The march went ahead without incident despite an attempt by the authorities to cancel it at the last minute.
Mayor Albertine van Vliet-Kuiper held a press conference later to explain her decision to try and stop the commemoration. A police representative said "signals were received" shortly before the march was due to start of a "threat of gun violence against the public". She did not elaborate on the threat.
The mayor had given the green light for the march earlier on Wednesday despite tensions between groups of young people in the city. Initially 50 police officers were assigned to the march. Another 50 were added later.
Ignoring her decision, the father of the murdered victim went ahead with his plan to give a speech at the spot where his son was gunned down. He was joined by hundreds of local people, including many teenagers.
He criticised the authorities for not arresting the suspect, 19, prior to the killing even though there had been a report he was armed. The father also voiced strong disagreement with the decision to cancel the march.
Police arrested five young men earlier in the day after threats were allegedly made to associates of the murder suspect. A firearm, components for a gun and two imitation guns were discovered during searches of houses. The five youths, aged 16 to 18, were released during the course of the day.
The family and girlfriend of the murder suspect were moved to a new address for their safety, the police spokesperson said.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2006]
Subject: Dutch news