Jouke, a 16-year-old teen that was shot at by Dutch police officers late Tuesday night, has just been freed.
Before being released, a massive crowd of Dutch farmers and protesters rallied outside the police station holding him to protest the arrest.
Indeed, farmers and other protesters showed up in droves, with tractors lining the streets and people crowding the sidewalks. Signs to Free Jouke have been seen across the country, and police have been under extreme pressure.
As previously reported by The Counter Signal, the incident occurred late last night at roughly 11:30 pm (GMT).
Police claimed that the teen attempted to ram into police and vehicles with a slow-moving tractor before the officers opened fire on him, admitting that “targeted shots were fired.”
“At about 10:40 pm, tractor drivers attempted to drive into officers and service vehicles. This happened at the entrance Mercurius/A32 in Heerenveen. A threatening situation arose. Warning shots were fired, and targeted shots were fired,” Politie Fryslân tweeted following the incident. [translated from Dutch]
“A tractor was hit. A tractor drove away from the incident and was stopped shortly afterwards on Jousterweg. Three suspects have been arrested. No one was injured. The road is currently closed for the investigation.”
However, video from the scene tells a different story, and it’s clear that Jouke was attempting to leave the protest before the shots were fired and was several meters from the officers. He did not appear to pose any risk.
A photo, if confirmed real, shows the aftermath of the shooting, with clear bullet holes piercing the tractor’s exterior, suggesting that the officers were using live rounds.
Speaking outside the jail, TCS Editor-in-Chief Keean Bexte asked one protester if it’s normal for police in the Netherlands to shoot at protesters as they did last night.
“No. Only when it’s life-threatening for them [can they] shoot. But it was not life-threatening,” one protester said.
“Do you think that the Prime Minister has created a climate where police think that they’re allowed to do stuff like this?” Bexte asked.
“Yes. It means that [in] this moment, for minor things, they can arrest you or shoot you and put you in jail,” the protester responded.
The police’s actions come after several municipalities declared emergency ordinance orders, bestowing upon police unprecedented powers to deal with protesters blockading food distribution centres.
Since the orders were declared, police have been seen wearing military-style equipment, have used tear gas against protesters, and have now shown that they’re willing to fire on anyone, even a teenage boy.
Despite the risk to their lives, Dutch farmers and protesters have no intention of slowing down.