Police officer wins appeal over 2013 shooting

A gavel in a courtroom.
Photo: Depositphotos

A policeman jailed earlier for two years for manslaughter after shooting a man during an arrest has been found not guilty on appeal.

The incident happened in August 2013, when the officer fired at a car outside a cannabis café in Heerlen while attempting to arrest a man suspected of involvement in a smash and grab raid the night before.

The public prosecution department had originally decided not to take the case to court but was forced to do so after the victim appealed.

In 2015, lower court judges found that  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 public prosecution department said immediately it would appeal against the lower court sentence. ‘This is not a crook who shoots at someone but a police officer who was defending himself,’ a spokesman said at the time.

Judges in Den Bosch have now agreed that the police officer fired because it was an emergency situation.

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