A new medical report on the death of delivery man Cédric Chouviat, after a police check in 2020 in Paris, confirmed the responsibility of three out of four police officers, leaving the question of their voluntary nature to the investigating judge.
In this document dated January 8, and made public on Monday, the five medical experts appointed by the judge retain as the cause of death a “simultaneous association of several factors” resulting from the gestures of arrest having “resulted in a very rapid deprivation of ‘oxygen to the brain’.
As a reminder, the 42-year-old father was tackled to the ground on January 3, 2020 with his motorcycle helmet on his head during a police check near the Eiffel Tower, causing his discomfort. Hospitalized in critical condition, he was declared dead on January 5.
Neither the gestures of arrest when he was still standing nor his fall “caused any discomfort”, according to the experts. For them, it was on the ground that the death of Cédric Chouviat was played out: “the problem arises from the moment when the victim, obese with a short neck and a helmet on his head tied under the chin, finds himself in a prone position with support and support in the dorsal region, a forearm passed in front of the neck which lifts the body to free the arms and bring them back behind.
the family denounces a “police blunder”
From the start, the family has denounced a “police blunder” caused by “dangerous” arrest techniques, a rear strangulation. The General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) had established that one of the four police officers had performed a “rear chokehold” on Mr. Chouviat to bring him to the ground, who “seemed” to have been pursued once on the ground. The police gave up this highly criticized technique last July, which is not specifically named in the expert report.
In their initial report of intervention, dated the day of the events and signed by the policewoman on behalf of the four members of the crew, the officials did not mention the use of this technique.
Three of the four police officers who took part in this Quai Branly check were indicted in July 2020 for “manslaughter”, while a fourth police officer was placed under the less incriminating status of assisted witness.
a re-enactment should be organized
There remains the question raised by the family of the intentionality of the violence on the part of the police.
The relatives of Mr. Chouviat accuse them of not having reacted quickly enough to the obvious signs of asphyxiation of the victim, who said nine times “I am suffocating” in thirteen seconds before feeling unwell.
To find out if the police were able to hear the delivery man’s cries of agony, which they dispute, a reconstruction of the events, which should insist on the auditory aspect, should be organized soon, according to concordant sources.
Could then be played a requalification of the facts in “willful violence resulting in death”, a crime punishable by assizes, as requested by the family.