Published On: Sun, Dec 17th, 2017

Counter-experts: stress did not kill Henriquez

Mitch HenriquezTHE HAGUE – The court has to present an interim-verdict in the case against two police officers who were involved in the arrest of Aruban Mitch Henriquez in 2015; Henriquez died a few days after the violent arrest. New independent research by three professors pierces the investigation by the police, Sam Jones reports on Caribisch Netwerk.

Gerald Roethof, the attorney for the Henriquez family writes this in a letter to the public prosecutor’s office.

With the letter, Roethof reacts to the statements of three professors intensive care medicine on Saturday afternoon in the radio program Argos. The three conclude that Henriquez did not die from acute stress syndrome.

According to experts in the trial against two police officers it was the stress that killed Henriquez after police violence and a struggle during his arrest.

The professors says that this is nonsense. According to them, stress does exist but you cannot die of it. “Stress can be an additional factor, but it can never be the main cause.”

The conclusions from the independent research are very clear, Roethof says. He is of the opinion that the research results represent new information. Therefore he wants the Public Prosecutor’s Office to inspire the court to render an interim-verdict.

The prosecutor’s office has not reacted yet to the statements of the three professors. “The prosecutor’s office, or the court, has to take the research by these professors in the case against the police officers.” Roethof says. “The investigation at trial was incomplete.”

The Henriquez family feels supported by a protest action that took place in the Hague on Saturday. They participated in a protest march against police violence; banners carried texts like ‘Stop police violence’ and ‘Stop racism.’ The protest was an initiative of Movement X,  that objects to police violence and ethnic profiling.

More than one hundred participants marched from Central Station to the Peace Palace and back. During the march, they placed a wreath at the police headquarters.

According to Roethof the Henriquez family has experienced the protest against police violence as support and empathy. “It is important that there continues to be attention for the terrible death of Henriquez. This case may not be allowed to be covered up.”

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