Sunday 18 August 2019

Police violence led to Mitch Henriquez’ death: official report

mitch arrest policeAruban holidaymaker Mitch Henriquez died because of the level of violence used by the police during his arrest, RTL news quotes the police report into his killing as saying.

A pathologist quoted in the report says there is no other explanation for his death, the broadcaster says. The police file has been handed to the public prosecutor this week.

The investigators say that the pressure on his throat, resulting from the strangulation effect of the choke hold, was the ‘probable cause’ of his suffocation and eventual death.

The punches to his nose also had a contributory effect, the report said. There is no other explanation of how the man came to die, the pathologist said.

The victim’s lawyer told a television talk show on Thursday evening Henriques had a fractured larynx and contusions to his temple, nose and genital area.

Gerald Roethof told talk show Pauw he had seen the initial police report which shows Henriquez was ‘severely abused’ during the arrest. As well as the bruising and fractured larnyx he also had two broken ribs, but these may have been caused when officers tried to revive him, Roethof said.

The report also lists several reasons, including public drunkenness, breach of the peace and threatening behaviour, for the arrest of Henriquez. The 42-year-old died after being thrown to the ground and bundled, apparently unconscious, into a police van after an open air concert by UB40.

The police originally claimed Henriquez had become unwell in a police car but retracted that statement after video footage showing him being held in a choke hold and dragged into the van was placed online. Five police officers face charges in connection with the death.

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