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27 January 2017

Dutch police accused of 'racially motivated' assault of ICJ lawyer

A trainee lawyer at the International Court of Justice has claimed she was a victim of police brutality when arrested for jaywalking in The Hague.

By Kathryn Higgins

Christian Mueller

30-year-old Cambridge graduate Chaka Laguerre, a US citizen and former Miss Jamaica, took to Facebook this week after an altercation with Dutch police which she has described as racially motivated. Visiting the Hague while undertaking a 10-month clerkship at the International Court of Justice, Ms Laguerre reported that she stopped by police for pushing her pike across a pedestrian intersection while the light was read, brutalised and subsequently arrested for failing to produce identification. She was then taken into police custody and only released after making contact with her colleagues at the ICJ.

In her post denouncing the incident, she wrote: ‘I survived 30 years in America – never had an altercation with the police, never been arrested, never even gotten a ticket – and came to The Hague, the ‘City of Justice,’ where I was brutalised by two male police officers, as a lawyer working at the International Court of Justice,’ Ms Laguerre said. "This will continue to be the experience of people of color in The Hague – unless we speak out.’ Dutch authorities have denied her allegations of police brutality and described her characterisation of the incident as racially motivated as ‘completely unfounded.’

Sources: The Telegraph; International Business Times

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