Dutch Ban Public Gatherings in District Hit by Rioting over Arrest Death

Anthony Deutsch, Yahoo! News, July 2, 2015

Dutch police fired warning shots and arrested 34 people during a third straight day of unrest on Thursday triggered by the death of a Caribbean man in police custody, and a temporary ban on public gatherings was imposed in a neighborhood hit by rioting.

The death from apparent asphyxiation on Sunday of Mitch Henriquez, 42, from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba, has been likened to incidents in the United States that sparked protests over excessive police use of force.

Disturbances erupted anew overnight on Thursday and police on horseback charged protesters who set fires, hurled bottles and rocks and smashed shop windows, according to a police statement.

Later on Thursday, the mayor of The Hague imposed a rare temporary ban on public assembly in the neighborhood, where more than 60 protesters have been arrested since Monday, to try to stem the violence, the Dutch news agency ANP reported.

Under the measure, no more that three people were permitted to gather in one place while “dangerous objects” and scooters were prohibited, other local media said.

At one point during hours of rioting early on Thursday, police fired warning shots to ward a mob of youths who had cornered them, before riot officers arrived in jeeps, enabling their colleagues on foot to flee to safety.

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Preliminary findings from an autopsy indicated that Henriquez died of asphyxiation after being held in a chokehold and pinned down by five white police officers. His death was almost certainly caused by rough police treatment, it said.

Henriquez, who has three children and was visiting the Netherlands, was arrested at a concert on Saturday for allegedly shouting that he had a gun, and died in hospital on Sunday. He did not have a weapon, investigators said.

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