EU Justice: 27,000 euros for dead scooter thief

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The European Court of Human Rights has today notified in writing a judgment in the case of Ramsahai v. the Netherlands (application no. 52391/99).

The Court held, by five votes to two, that there had been:
no violation of Article 2 (right to life) of the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the shooting by a police officer of Moravia Ramsahai; and,
a violation of Article 2 in respect of the investigation into his death.

Under Article 41 (just satisfaction) of the Convention, by five votes to two, the Court awarded the applicants 20,000 euros (EUR) for non-pecuniary damage and EUR 8,000 (less EUR 701 awarded by the Court for legal aid) for costs and expenses.

1. Principal facts

The applicants, all Netherlands nationals, are: Renee Ramsahai, Mildred Ramsahai and Ricky Ramsahai, the grandfather, grandmother and father, respectively, of Moravia Ramsahai, born on 6 December 1979, who was shot dead by a policeman in July 1998. Renee and Mildred Ramsahai were both born in 1938 and Ricky Ramsahai was born in 1960. They all live in Amsterdam.

In the evening of Sunday 19 July 1998, during the "Kwakoe" festival in the Bijlmermeer district of Amsterdam (a celebration by the Surinamese immigrant community of the abolition of slavery in Suriname 135 years earlier), Moravia Ramsahai stole a scooter from its owner at gunpoint and drove off on it.

The police were notified. Two uniformed police officers on patrol, Officers Brons and Bultstra, spotted a scooter driven by a person fitting the description they had been given - later identified as Moravia Ramsahai - and tried to arrest him.

Officer Bultstra saw Moravia Ramsahai draw a pistol from his trouser belt. Officer Bultstra drew his service pistol and ordered Moravia Ramsahai to drop his weapon. Moravia Ramsahai failed to do so. Officer Brons then approached. Moravia Ramsahai raised his pistol and pointed it towards Officer Brons, who drew his pistol and fired. Moravia Ramsahai was hit in the neck. At 10.03 p.m. Officer Brons called for an ambulance. When it arrived, at about 10.15 p.m., Moravia Ramsahai was already dead.
So... The police reacted adequately. The facts of Ramsahai being armed and threatening with a gun are not in dispute. And the family of this miscreant is awarded 27,000 euros by EU miscreants because...?

And Ramsahais victim, you know: the erstwhile owner of the scooter, right before he had a pistol shoved in his face? Is he awarded anything? Have the two officers involved in this sad affair received a citation or a medal or some such? Questions, questions...

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