Riots in Netherlands after man from Aruba dies following arrest at festival

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[Warning: Some of the images may be disturbing]

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands, Tuesday June 30, 2015 – Violence broke out last night during a protest staged after a man from the Dutch Caribbean island of Aruba died on Sunday, a day after police arrested him at a music festival in The Hague.

An estimated 200 people had gathered outside a police station in the neighbourhood of Schilderswijk – where a high percentage of people with a non-Western background live –, some wearing T-shirts with slogans like ‘I love Aruba’ and ‘Stop police violence’ and waving banners with messages urging an end to police brutality and racism and ‘Justice for Mitch Henriquez’, as they accused police of murdering the 42-year-old tourist.

justice for mitch

The event took a violent turn when some protesters began throwing rocks and other objects.

Riot police used truncheons, a water cannon and police dogs to keep protesters at bay, according to media reports.

Some of the demonstrators subsequently spread out into the neighbourhood, smashing shop windows, bus shelters and phone booths and setting fires in the streets throughout the night and into the early morning.

Henriquez, who was in the Netherlands visiting family for the summer vacation, had attended the Night at the Park music festival on Sunday.

Police claimed that while there, he shouted that he had a gun and officers went to detain him, but he resisted arrest and force had to be used to restrain him.

Videos posted on social media show Henriquez being pinned to the ground by five police offices.

Witnesses also reported that even when Henriquez was subdued, he was beaten about his head with police batons.

A photograph of Henriquez in hospital shows his face was severely swollen.

mitch  henriquez in hospital

This picture shows how swollen Mitch Henriquez was in the hospital.

Prosecutors had said in a statement on Sunday that the Aruban tourist “became unwell on the way to jail” and was taken to hospital in a critical condition. But they have announced they will launch an inquiry into his death.

Investigators have also issued a call for anybody who witnessed and/or videotaped the incident to come forward with information to help them get to the bottom of the incident.

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