Published On: Thu, Dec 21st, 2017

Suspended prison sentence for fatal Henriquez arrest

Mitch HenriquezSCHIPHOL – The court in Schiphol found on Thursday morning two police officers guilty of the ill-treatment of Mitch Henriquez which resulted in the death of the 42-year old Aruban. Both officers get a 6-month suspended prison sentence, the Telegraaf reported.

Officer DH01 maintained the chokehold on Henriquez for 72 seconds, while the combination of violence (hitting in the face, using pepper spray) also makes the violence of officer DH02 wrongful. The court ruled that both officers are responsible for the death of Mitch Henriquez, but found no proof for manslaughter.

Henriquez died after he had been overpowered by the officers after heavy resistance and a struggle. The public prosecutor considers the two officers guilty but asked the court not to impose a punishment.

Henriquez died a day after his arrest in June 2015 during the Parkpop festival in The Hague. He had shouted at the police officers that he had a weapon, pointing at the same time to his crotch. During his arrest he resisted so heavily that it took five police officers to keep him under control.

Initially it was thought that the chokehold had caused Henriquez’ death, but later doubts arose about this opinion. Several experts mentioned heart failure caused by an acute stress syndrome as the most likely cause of death. Later experts of Independent Forensic Services said that this opinion must be incorrect. Three professors said in a radiobroadcast of Argos that dying from acute stress syndrome is impossible.

The police officers were protected from view in court behind a screen and their voices were scrambled. For privacy considerations they were identified as DH01 and DH02.