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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Officer who shot at tractor driver (16) during farmers’ protest waives appeal

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The officer who was convicted at the end of last year for shooting at a tractor driver during a farmers’ protest in Heerenveen is withdrawing his appeal. The man still disagrees with the conviction, but now “chooses peace”.

This was reported by his lawyer. The officer was sentenced in December last year to eighty hours of community service and a suspended prison sentence of one month.

While the case was being processed, the officer’s identity was withheld because he was threatened, his lawyer said. Those threats have had “a very significant impact on the personal life of him and his family.” The police officer believes “the impact of the entire criminal case is too great” to appeal.

The officer shot at a tractor during the farmers’ protest on July 5, 2022. It contained the then sixteen-year-old Jouke from Akkrum in Friesland. The officer shot because he thought the tractor was driving into him. He said that he drew his firearm “in a great frenzy” and acted in self-defense. The bullet hit the steel of the cabin at head height, narrowly missing Jouke.

The court found that the tractor did not drive towards the officer and found the officer guilty of attempted manslaughter.

Despite the conviction, the officer is still employed. “This is tailor-made, in which the facts and circumstances are carefully taken into account. So you have not necessarily lost your job,” says a police spokesperson.

Because the prison sentence the officer received was conditional, he was able to keep his job, the spokesperson explained. “Suitable work is now being sought in consultation with him.”

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