Dutch Police Opens City, State of Emergency After Rioting Against Police

Rotterdam’s police force is beginning to take a death toll in the demonstrations demanding justice for an 11-year-old girl who died after an altercation with officers. “We’ve taken a lot of injuries today,” Police…

Dutch Police Opens City, State of Emergency After Rioting Against Police

Rotterdam’s police force is beginning to take a death toll in the demonstrations demanding justice for an 11-year-old girl who died after an altercation with officers.

“We’ve taken a lot of injuries today,” Police Superintendent Willem de Bruijn said of the five officers who were injured when more than 300 people threw bottles, fireworks and stones during riots on Saturday night.

A police spokesman said no arrests were made, but officers eventually managed to disperse the crowd and bring the disturbances under control.

Rotterdam’s mayor, Ahmed Aboutaleb, said more than 100 videos of the riots showed police officers in good spirits during the disturbance.

“How can a policeman take a life at the age of 11?” Aboutaleb said in a post on Twitter. “This is unacceptable. And of course that was a certainty here in Rotterdam.”

The girl and the officers’ race and gender were not immediately clear, but authorities stressed that her death was not a direct result of being in police custody.

Boomerang Cinema operators’ head, Rafael Scheeer, said the group’s 11 screens would remain closed Sunday “as a mark of respect for the entire Rotterdam public service.”

Hundreds of kilometers away in Dover, the Dutch city’s Mayor Adam Lapeyre assured the public the police would cope with any more unrest.

“Not in our city! Not again! I dare to hope there won’t be another night like last night again,” he said.

Dutch authorities quickly imposed a state of emergency across the city’s metro system in an attempt to clear the station for the subway.

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Keegan-Michael Key is a national writer for The Associated Press. He’s based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @keynewzak

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