A 30-year-old police officer has been given a two year jail sentence for attempted manslaughter after he fired at car outside a cannabis café in Heerlen, news agency ANP reports.
The car’s passenger was hit in the incident and the bullet would have proved fatal if it had entered his body one centimetre further to the right, a medical expert had told the court.
The incident happened in August 2013 when a group of police officers went to arrest a man suspected of involvement in a smash and grab raid the night before. He attempted to drive off and headed towards the group of police, leading one to draw his gun and fire.
The public prosecution department had asked the court to clear the police officer of all charges because he had fired in an emergency situation.
The court, however, said there was no evidence of an emergency and the car was driving relatively slowly when the officer fired. He acted out of all proportion to the situation and had not thought things through properly, the court said.
The officer was also ordered to pay his victim €750 for his ruined clothes and €3,500 in compensation.
The public prosecution department had originally decided not to take the case to court but was forced to do so after the victim appealed.
The department said immediately it would appeal against the jail sentence. ‘This is not a crook who shoots at someone but a police officer who was defending himself,’ a spokesman is quoted as saying by news agency ANP.
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