French police convicted for brutality

Violent - French police
Violent - French police

Three Parisian Police officers have been found guilty of assault on five people during a series of events described by the judge as "ubuesque."

Submitted by jef costello on November 26, 2006

After being told by a young woman that her phone had been stolen three police officers decided to stop and search a nearby young man (who was completely cleared of any involvement.) When several local people came out to protest at the rough treatment of a young man that they knew was not involved the police called for reinforcements. It ended with 28 police officers on the scene, 7 or 8 of whom managed to gas each other, and 7 arrests.

Juliette barefoot and in her dressing gown was struck in the back of the head several times while lying face down and handcuffed. Imane, who has seven months pregnant was bundled into the back of the police van and her mother Hourdia was slapped repeatedly in the face for complaining. Her son Sofiane (15) was beaten unconscious with police batons and his friend Lucas had his nose broken when he was kicked in the face while lying on the floor handcuffed.

A sentence of 6 months was called for by the prosecution for Thierry Jean, responsible for the attacks on Juliette and Lucas. Sylvain Ghesquiere and Lucien Tel had sentences of four months each requested for the assaults on Sofiane and Hourdia respectively.

The unconvincing denials of the police officers in the face of large numbers of witnesses was noted by the judge. There needed to be a lot of evidence in order to prosecute police, in this case there were inly three prosecutions because the evidence was damning, other officers were certainly guilty of violence. This police district, Saint-Denis had 24 officers under investigation between 2001 and 2005; last year five of them were imprisoned for sexually assaulting prostitutes.

In further news, another French police officer was given a six month sentence for manslaughter after the death of an Ethiopian deportee.

Mariame Getu Hagos was being forcibly deported to South Africa and three police officers had to force him onto the plane. He was handcuffed and restrained by police officers who taped his knees and ankles together, leaving him kneeling with his face pushed into the floor (plie is the term the police use and is sometimes used in interrogations)
A prosecution was brought against all three officers, but there was insufficient evidence to prove that the other two had caused his death. The officer was convicted of "failing to act in a prudent and safe manner"