Beach party youth was killed by police bullet

The 19-year-old youth shot dead when trouble broke out at a beach party two weeks ago was killed by a police bullet, the public prosecution department confirmed on Thursday.

The bullet came from the gun of one of the police officers trying to restore order at the Sunset Grooves festival in Hoek van Holland, the department said.
At least two other youths were hit when police officers began discharging warning shots at the crowd after apparently coming under attack from a mob. Four others were also shot but the investigation into the source of their injuries is continuing, the department said.
A preliminary report into the way the event was policed blames the commander in charge for not doing his job properly.
The senior officer acted in a ‘routine way’ and was not sufficiently ‘alert and sharp’, police commissioner Dick Schouten of the Midden and West Brabant force says in a note on his early findings.
‘At the moment the operational leadership came under pressure, there was no more control,’ the report said. ‘It is thanks to the initiative and professional approach of a large number of experienced colleagues that the situation did not become more serious.’
Information that hooligans were planning to attend the party had been received the day before but was not passed on to senior officers either, the report said.
Schouten’s report also states that there were considerable problems with police communicatons equipment which overloaded after the first shots were fired. At one point there was no mobile phone contact between officers, the Volkskrant reported.
Gerrti van de Kamp, the chairman of police union ACP, told the Telegraaf the preliminary report raised many questions. For example, the festival had a licence for 15,000 people but when the organiser said in May he expected 28,000 would turn up, why did the council not amend the licence? he asked.
‘The doubling in visitor numbers had major consequences for public safety,’ he said. In addition, it is still not clear why riot police had not been put on standby.
Rotterdam city council is due to debate the preliminary findings this evening. A more far-reaching investigation is also under way. According to the NRC, the police officer at the centre of the criticism has been suspended.

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