Dutch Police Shoot at Tractor Driven by 16-Year-Old During Protests Against Climate Change Mandates

Dutch police shot at a tractor driven by a 16-year-old boy as protests over climate change mandates continue in the Netherlands.

QUICK FACTS:
  • During an intense night of protests against new climate regulations for Dutch farmers, police shot at a teenager among the demonstrators, Fox News reports.
  • The police bullet hit the boy’s vehicle, leaving a 12-millimeter hole at head height.
  • Police in the northern Friesland province of the Netherlands said that while no one was hurt during the incident, three demonstrators were detained and warning shots were fired at the teen reportedly attempting to drive a tractor into officers.
  • Dutch news reports say the mother of the 16-year-old farmer’s son is considering filing a report of attempted murder against the officers involved, adding that the family will not let the matter rest.
  • If the projectile had landed just a few millimeters one way, it could have been fatal for the boy, whose name is Jouke, his mother told the Leeuwarder Courant on Wednesday.
  • Jouke was initially arrested for “attempted manslaughter,” but was quickly released after the charge was dropped.
WHAT THE BOY SAID:
  • On his Facebook page, Jouke described his experience after his release on Wednesday evening:
  • “I thought I should get around it too. So I calmly walk over the sidewalk and suddenly ‘bang’ in my right ear.”
  • The boy quickly ran away: “I think quickly leave, soon a second (bullet, ed.) will follow.”
BACKGROUND:
  • Over 40,000 farmers have taken to the streets over the past few weeks in protest of new climate-related regulations that would force thousands out of work.
  • Amid the protests, the farmers have dumped hay bales on roads, blocked highways with tractors, and dispersed manure outside government officials’ homes.
  • The new mandates would include cutting back on ammonia and nitrogen oxide emissions, both of which are found in large amounts in livestock manure.

Jon Fleetwood contributed to this piece.