The family of a young black man shot dead by police on Monday are planning to take legal action against the officer who shot him, amid claims the youngster ‘directed’ his own death, reports NOS.
The family’s lawyer Gerarld Roethof says the youth’s mother wants to be certain there is an independent inquiry into the shooting.
Mitchel Winters, 21, from Capelle aan den Ijssel, was killed by a police bullet in the Beatrixpark in Schiedam. Police had been called after a report of a robbery and gunfire, and reportedly saw someone matching the description running in the park.
A police officer shot several times – for reasons that are unclear – but no weapon was discovered on Winters’ body.
Suicide by cop?
Now the Dutch public broadcaster NOS reports sources saying Winters shouted to the police officer who was trying to arrest him, ‘Shoot, shoot,’ or words to that effect.
NOS claims police also suspect that the person reporting the robbery may have been Winters, who had a phone on him with no sim card. Calls to the 112 emergency services number can be made without a card.
The call reporting the alleged robbery was recorded and one family member has reportedly identified it as Mitchel’s voice. Roethof told a television talk show on Wednesday evening that discovering who made the call is not the most important aspect of the case.
‘Even if he was the caller, is that a reason to shoot him?’ Roethof said. ‘The family think it is unacceptable that a young man leaves home without a gun and is shot dead.’
Six years ago the dead man’s father, 40-year-old Jerry Landveld, was shot dead by police in Nijmegen. He was shot eight times because, police said, he lashed out at them with a knife and was stabbing a police dog that was biting his leg.
His family tried to prosecute police but a court ruled in 2012 that they had followed procedures and shot in self-defence.
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