Police investigation: force used during the termination of student party was “legitimate and proportionate”

Police investigation: force used during the termination of student party was “legitimate and proportionate”

No report filed, but complaints were made to the police

06-03-2023 · News

MAASTRICHT. The force used by police officers when they ended an illegal student party in the Zakstraat on 12 February, was “legitimate and proportionate”. That is the result of an internal investigation, a spokesperson for the police informed.

The intervention, in which police officers made use of truncheons and took hold of and pushed away partygoers, led to commotion in the following days. About a hundred students demonstrated in front of the police station against the force that was used. Organisers of the party, four international students, said to Observant that they would file a complaint against the police officers involved. They allegedly were unjustifiably forceful and aggressive and entered the building without permission.

According to a police spokesperson, however, no reports have been filed by the students (so far). “Although five or so complaints were submitted. These will be dealt with seriously, according to official procedure, further looked at by the complaints’ office.” The students concerned were not available to give a reaction last week.

The internal investigation – that the police always carry out after police officers report the use of force – has been completed, “with the exception of the complaints that will be looked into further”. According to the police website, an attempt at mediation is made after any complaint that is filed. Should this fail, the police will set up an internal investigation.

In good faith

Apart from that, the police still stand behind their own statement about the incident, the spokesperson answered. According to the students present, the statement was not true, referring to footage of the incident. Where the police reports that there were more than a hundred people present at the party, this was supposedly a “maximum of thirty”. Moreover, the police officers immediately acted aggressive and pushed and pulled those present forcefully out of the house, according to the students. The police claims force was not used until “multiple warnings” had been given.

“We consider our statement to reflect the truth,” said the spokesperson. “Our police officers report in good faìth about their actions,” referring to the oath of office that all have taken.

Statement by university

There will be no formal statement about the incident from Maastricht University, which students asked the Executive Board and deans to issue in an e-mail in the week after the incident. The same applies to their request that the university “file a report with the Maastricht police department and request an investigation into the event” and to “acknowledge the fact that many students (especially international students) are insufficiently aware of their legal rights as residents in this country”.

In a reaction to the e-mail, Margriet Schreuders (director of the Student Services Centre), partly also on behalf of the Executive Board, stated that “it is not our place to take a position regarding the actions of police officers present or of other people concerned, as the university is not involved in this case.” She does point out that UM is available for students who are still troubled by the incident. They can contact study advisors and student psychologists. According to the university, it is a good thing that the police have started their own investigation.

Photo: Shutterstock

Categories: News, news_top
Tags: police,force,investigation,violence,students

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