Thursday was the third day of protest in the Netherlands over the police killing of a Black Caribbean man. With a Dutch ban on public assembly, security forces have arrested over 200 people related to the demonstrations so far.
Protesters have been clashing with police in the west-coast city of the Hague since Monday following the death of Caribbean man Mitch Henriquez, who died from asphyxiation after being pinned down by five white police officers and held in a chokehold.
Protesters say the death was racially motivated and are seeking accountability from the Dutch police department, which has faced scrutiny in recent years after news reports provided evidence of racial bias in police practices.
Citing a police statement, Reuters reports that unrest continued overnight Thursday and police detained protesters. Some of them started fires, hurled bottles and rocks, and broke windows.
Over 100 people were arrested after allegedly defying a ban prohibiting public assembly in the immigrant neighborhood that has become the stage for protests. The ban prohibits scooters, carrying “dangerous objects,” and the assembly of more than three people in the neighborhood known for its high tensions between police and residents.
The family of Henriquez, a father of three, says the Dutch state is accountable for the police actions. The five officers involved in Henriquez's arrest have been suspended as investigations into his death continue.
Prosecutors originally said he “became unwell on the way to jail.” However, videos of the man forcefully pinned to the ground by five white police officers using a chokehold on him quickly emerged on social media.
Witnesses say officers approached Henriquez as he was making jokes and shouting and that he allegedly resisted his arrest, reported Russia Today. Dutch prosecutors say Henriquez shouted that he had a weapon.
Who of the folks who're now preaching "Non-violence" ever demanded that this police squad that's known for their terror, acted less violent?— Zeefuik (@Lazeefuik) July 2, 2015
Videos show him lying motionless and handcuffed on the ground as police officers sit on him.
“His head was completely swollen, he was mainly beaten on his head,” Henriquez’s sister Lila was reported as saying to masnoticia.com. “How could someone be handcuffed, thrown in the car and then arrive black and blue and unable to breathe?”
Dutch police have previously been criticized for racism and excessive use of force. In 2012, a Dutch Surinamese teenager was fatally shot as he ran away from police. Police originally alleged the boy was threatening passengers, but it was later revealed he was unarmed.