Justification of use of service dog in car; compliance with proportionality and subsidiarity requirements
On 23 February 2022, the Court of Appeal in The Hague ruled on the complaint under art. 12 Sv, brought against an officer who had to use force during the arrest of a person on the Hilledijk in Rotterdam in March 2020. The officer was forced to use his service dog in a passenger car (through the open car window), to use his stun gun and to use physical force in order to complete the arrest.
The case has been widely reported in the media, including in the Zembla programme ‘Biting as a reward’. Without having a full picture of the issue, the actions of the officer – our client, assisted by Linda van der Hut – have been condemned in harsh terms.
The decision of the Court of Appeal in The Hague shows once again that a thorough knowledge and careful consideration of all relevant facts and circumstances within the applicable legal framework – for which the judge is obviously excellently trained – is necessary for a correct and fair assessment of the use of force by the police. It also shows how dangerous and even harmful it is to draw (premature) conclusions and pass judgement on the basis of images or fragments of information alone. Finally, in the detailed decision, the court found that all the force used by the officer was justified and complied with the requirements of proportionality and subsidiarity.
Read the decision here: https://deeplink.rechtspraak.nl/uitspraak?id=ECLI:NL:GHDHA:2022:279