The police officers who assaulted Paris delivery driver Cédric Chouviat in January have been charged with manslaughter. The attack was filmed on a bystander’s mobile phone, and shows that the three policeman held Mr Chouviat (42) on the ground, still wearing his scooter helmet, for about 20 seconds during which time he shouted “I’m suffocating” seven times. A coroner ruled that he had died of suffocation and a broken larynx.
The incident resulted in the then interior minister banning the use of chokeholds by police officers, but this resulted in a number of protests by serving police officers during which they symbolically threw their handcuffs on the ground. The ban was then reversed. Last week the minister, Christophe Castaner, was replaced over his handing of the affair.
Mr Chouviat’s family have responded to the charges by saying that they are not sufficient given “the violence and aggressiveness of the police officers.” They want charges of voluntary violence to be brought against the police officers, which would likely to lead to longer jail terms.
PHOTO: Screenshot of bystander’s video of incident, via Le Parisien