x281396783196877416The videos on social media show five burly police officers and one man on the ground in a stranglehold. Mitch Henriquez, a Black man from Aruba, died soon afterwards and three nights of rioting ensued in an immigrant quarter in The Hague. Was his skin color a factor?

Three nights of rioting in the Schilderswijk quarter of The Hague have left smashed display windows, burnt-out bus stops and streets strewn with uprooted paving stones.

It was caused by hundreds of residents of the deprived neighborhood near the city centre, who did battle with police into the early hours as they protested the death of a man after his detention by police officers.

“The violence is unacceptable,” Prime Minister Mark Rutte said, echoing the outrage expressed by many Dutch politicians. “It really has to stop… I’m really angry about this,” he told national television.

That put him on the same page as Jozias van Aartsen, mayor of the Hague. As Schilderswijk continued to simmer, Van Aartsen declared a partial state of emergency, with a ban on gatherings.
Meanwhile observers began to draw comparisons with racial unrest in U.S. cities.

Mitch Henriquez was from the Dutch island of Aruba in the Caribbean, and he was black. On June 27, he went to a festival in The Hague.

According to his sister, he shouted out that he was armed as a joke that went badly wrong. He was immediately overpowered by police.
“The arrest was justified,” the public prosecutor’s office said afterwards, even though it was soon clear that Henriquez had been unarmed. “He became ill later in the police vehicle.”

The 42-year-old man, who was in The Hague on holiday, was reported to have died in hospital the next day, with the cause as yet unestablished. The prosecutor’s office termed the death “regrettable.”

But videos began surfacing on the Internet that instantly cast doubt on this version of events.

Read more at www.dalje.com

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