Killing of Michael Koomen

Michael Arjan Koomen (20 July 1979 – 14 May 2011)[1] was a Dutch amateur footballer who was shot and killed by a police officer while trying to calm down a struggle between his team mates and the officer in Amsterdam. The Dutch public prosecutor announced the officer would not be charged over the shooting, a decision upheld on appeal, so the Koomen family lawyers announced they would go to the European Court of Justice.

Michael Koomen
Michael Koomen (1979 Amsterdam).jpg
Born
Michael Arjan Koomen

(1979-07-20)20 July 1979
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Died14 May 2011(2011-05-14) (aged 31)
Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cause of deathShot by a police officer
EducationUniversity of Amsterdam
OccupationJurist
EmployerSNS Reaal

BiographyEdit

Koomen was born on 20 July 1979 in Buitenveldert, Amsterdam, as an eldest son. He studied notary law, graduating from the University of Amsterdam in 1997, and worked as a jurist at SNS Reaal. At the time of his death, he was single and had two cats.[2][1][3] Koomen captained the amateur football team RKAVIC [nl], located in neighbouring Amstelveen.[4]

IncidentEdit

On 14 May 2011 in North Holland, Dutch team RKAVIC 4 was celebrating that it had won their league championship. 20 team members boarded a boat at Ouderkerk aan de Amstel and began to drink heavily. The captain of the boat decided to cut the trip short and went to the endpoint at Museumplein in Amsterdam.[5]

The men then walked through the inner city, and at the corner of Weteringschans and Spiegelgracht, around 22:00, they met a passing police officer who attempted to arrest two men from the group for public intoxication (one of them being Nick Koomen, Michael's brother). The officer handcuffed them together and put them in his van. The police officer then pushed another man, Diego Medina, to the ground and Medina retaliated. Five more men joined the attack and in the ensuing struggle, the police officer took out his gun. He fired off four shots in quick succession, fatally hitting Michael Koomen in the heart with the first bullet, which was later claimed to have been a warning shot. Another man was hit in the leg and Nick Koomen was wounded lightly by two bullets. Passing witnesses thought that the officer was panicked and fighting for his life, whilst an aide worker alleged that the footballers had used beer and cocaine.[5][6][7]

Later eventsEdit

In September 2011, AFC Ajax fans broke into applause at the 31st minute of a match against FC Twente to commemorate the life of Koomen, who had been a season ticket holder.[8] At trial in the Amsterdam District Court in October 2011, Nick Koomen and Diego Medina were accused of violence against a police officer; it was stated that Michael Koomen had not used violence.[9]

Amsterdam FM reported that the officer who shot Koomen had a bad reputation in the force and had been convicted in 1999 of assaulting a handcuffed arrestee.[10] On the evening of 30 January 2012, part of Stadhouderskade and Weteringschans were closed off to enable a reconstruction of events by twenty researchers.[11]

The public prosecutor announced that the officer would not be charged, having been justified in using lethal force.[12] After the court of appeal upheld the decision not to prosecute the officer, lawyers for Koomen's family said in 2014 that they would be taking the case to the European Court of Justice based on the grounds that a police officer can only fire a weapon as a last resort.[6] They also saw a conflict of interest because the public prosecutor had formerly worked with the accused officer.[12]

The Dutch appeals court emphasised how regrettable it was that a man who had been attempting to calm everyone down had been killed.[13] The judges commented "At no time did he behave violently toward the police officer".[13]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Michael Koomen". Evangelische Omroep. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  2. ^ "Overleden". SPUI UvA alumni magazine (in Dutch). Vol. 2. 2011. p. 33.
  3. ^ "Onze Michael was een vrolijke, intelligente jongen". NRC (in Dutch). 20 July 2011. Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  4. ^ "Voetbalteam dodelijke schietpartij was RKAVIC". AT5 television (in Dutch). Retrieved 15 January 2022.
  5. ^ a b "'Agent vocht voor zijn leven' ["Officer fought for his life"]". De Gelderlander. 19 May 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  6. ^ a b "Ouders doodgeschoten Michael Koomen stappen naar Europese rechter". Het Parool (in Dutch). 18 December 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  7. ^ "Kampioensfeest eindigt in drama: Voetballer stierf door politiekogel [Championship party ends in tragedy: Footballer dies by police bullet]". NH Nieuws (in Dutch). 21 September 2015. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  8. ^ "Herdenking Michael Koomen tijdens Ajax – Twente". Vak 410. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  9. ^ "Straf geëist tegen belagers schietende agent". NU (in Dutch). 28 October 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  10. ^ "Schietende agent slechte naam [Shooting officer had bad reputation]". Amsterdam FM. Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  11. ^ Breejen, Marielle (2012). "'Was het noodweer?'". Blauw. 7: 14–19.
  12. ^ a b Oostra, Loeka (10 July 2014). "Hof: hondengeleider Fred B. niet vervolgd voor doodschieten voetballer". Het Parool (in Dutch). Retrieved 13 January 2022.
  13. ^ a b "Agent terecht niet vervolgd voor dood voetballer". RTL Nieuws (in Dutch). 10 July 2014. Retrieved 13 January 2022.