Resident wanted to "teach them a lesson"

14th March 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 March 2007, AMSTERDAM – Seven of the people arrested on Tuesday in Utrecht will be brought before the court on Thursday. The other 128 will be released with a fine.

14 March 2007

AMSTERDAM – Seven of the people arrested on Tuesday in Utrecht will be brought before the court on Thursday. The other 128 will be released with a fine.

As the municipality braces for another night of disturbances, and police close off the neighbourhood of Ondiep for another evening, the question remains of why such violent riots broke out on Monday in response to a shooting by police on Sunday.

Several neighbourhood residents spoke to the Volkskrant on Tuesday.

It is clear that there is more going on than just rage and sadness over the death of Rini Mulder, the 54-year-old man shot dead on Sunday. "They just don't do anything about the creeps that are ruining this neighbourhood," says resident Ali Kwarten. "That is frustration number one."

That was the case on Sunday as well, says the man talking with Kwarten. He had been friends with Mulder for "almost 30 years." They were involved in a fight on Sunday against a group of 20 young Dutch-Turks that were hanging about the streets. Rini Mulder had left the house determined to "teach a lesson" to the group hanging out there, playing loud music and intimidating local residents.

He says Rini put his hand in the air when police finally arrived. "But he wasn't threatening them. He wanted to indicate that it was he that had called police."

The officer thought he was being threatened and shot Mulder in the chest. "He should have shot into the air, the bastard," says Kwarten.

"Those cops don't know what they're doing," says Mulder's friend. "They never come when you need them. Just call 112 if things get serious, they say. It's obviously too late then."

The neighbourhood of Ondiep, with a primarily native Dutch population, has been designated by the state as a disadvantaged neighbourhood and there are urban renewal plans in the works that will result in the demolition of most of the homes. Many of the area residents have already moved out.

The neighbourhood is not enthusiastic about the renewal plans. They complain that the new homes planned for the area will be unaffordable for them. "They want richer people here in the neighbourhood," says Willem de Graaf, another resident.

"The neighbourhood is at a difficult point in the renewal," says Rinda den Besten, alderwoman for the neighbourhood." "One in three houses is standing empty at the moment, soon that will be two in three. The situation is going to last for a few months."

Den Besten admits that the neighbourhood will be a mess in the meantime. There is little social control, precisely the kind of situation that plays into the hands of the group that was hanging about the intersection of the Boerhaavelaan and the Thorbeckelaan on Sunday.

[Copyright Expatica News 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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