What do we know about the indictment of four police officers for “violence in meetings”?

Estimated read time 5 min read

Four police officers suspected of having violently beaten a young man in Marseilles on the sidelines of the riots which had followed the death of Nahel, in Nanterre, were indicted, announced the wooden floor who requested their placement in pre-trial detention. One of them has been remanded in custody. 20 minutes returns to these indictments and the acts of violence that occurred on the night of July 1 to 2.

What happened this Friday in Marseille?

This Friday, at the end of the custody of eight police officers, four police officers were indicted for “violence in a meeting by a person holding public authority with the use or threat of a weapon resulting in an ITT (total incapacity for work) greater than 8 days “. One of them was taken into custody.

Why were these police officers charged?

Following the death of young Nahel17 years old, killed by a police officer on Tuesday June 27 after a refusal to comply during a roadside check Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), riots broke out in several cities in France, including Paris, Lille, Lyon, Toulouse, Strasbourg and in particular Marseilles.

After groups of young people sowed chaos the day before, the night of July 1 to 2 was the scene of new scenes of riots and the police carried out 95 arrests that night in the Marseille city. Violent clashes break out between rioters and policemen. Projectiles fly, garbage cans are set on fire and many shopkeepers see their store windows smashed and face significant looting. In an attempt to disperse the crowd, the police used tear gas. But in the face of ever-increasing tension, the Raid intervenes by making use of LBD and shoot at the youth gangs.

That night, Hedi, a young man of 21, was injured. On his hospital bed, a few days after the events, he explained that he had been beaten up by a group of four to five people whom he had identified as policemen of the anti-crime brigade, after receiving a shot from LBD in the temple. This violence resulted in an ITT (total incapacity for work) of more than eight days. The 5 of July, the prosecution will decide to open an investigation of the head of violence in meetings by a person holding public authority “.

Is there another investigation into police violence in Marseille?

Yes. Another inquest is into the death of a 27-year-old, probably after a “violent shock to the chest” caused by a “Flash-Ball type” projectile in the city center of Marseille, during the same night. Mohamed Bendriss, married, father of a child and whose widow is expecting a second child, had lost his life after feeling unwell while riding a scooter. It was during his autopsy that the trace of what could be the impact of an LBD shot was spotted on his chest.

Where are the other investigations for police violence following the riots?

According to Agnès Thibault-Lecuivre, head of the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), to date, theIGPN took up at least 21 investigations “of very different nature and seriousness” into the actions of the police during the demonstrations and violence that followed Nahel’s death. Among these investigations for “willful violence”, one was opened after a complaint by a 51-year-old teacher, accusing two police officers of having assaulted her in Villetaneuse (Seine-Saint-Denis) on June 30. Pushed to the ground then handcuffed when she stopped in a place where a truck was burning, she was operated on for fractures of the tibia and fibula, according to her complaint.

Another concerns the complaint of a 24-year-old former soldier, accusing a police officer of having blinded him with an LBD shot on the evening of June 30 in Nanterre after the white march in tribute to Nahel. Finally, in the case of the Nanterre homicide, the policeman who killed Nahel on June 27 was also remanded in custody. Several legal investigations are also underway.

What are the reactions to the indictment of the four police officers?

The indictment of the four Marseille police officers, and in particular the placement in pre-trial detention of one of them, aroused the ire of the Alliance and Unsa Police unions: “Police officers, like everyone else, not only have the right to the presumption of innocence but also have the right to the same justiciable regime as others. Pre-trial detention is an exceptional measure that applies to both citizens and police officers,” they criticize. “Alliance Police Nationale and Unsa Police give their full support to their colleagues, especially in the face of this placement in pre-trial detention (…) and warn of the incomprehension, concern and anger of the police”, conclude the unions.

In Marseille, a kitty was opened to help the families of the four police officers indicted, on the initiative of the BAC Sud. Friday morning it already had 8,818 euros for 245 donations.

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