This is one of the few points on which we will agree on one side or the other of the bar. A simple video, made by a neighbor, which quickly circulated on social networks before being published by Provence, tipped a highly sensitive case of police violence last year. Filmed near the Saint-Charles train station in Marseille, this video immortalizes what was originally a banal police intervention, and which ultimately ends up at the heart of the trial which opens this Tuesday before the court. correctional court in Marseille, during which two police officers were tried for willful violence. 20 minutes comes back to this audience and its issues.
What do we see on the video?
On the night of April 29 to 30, 2021, while France was in the middle of a curfew, a BAC team intervened on rue du Commandant Mages, in the city center of Marseille. When the police arrived on the spot, according to a press release from the police headquarters at the time, they discovered “people on scaffolding and a building roof”. Their intervention is filmed throughout by a neighbor of these people, who asked to remain anonymous.
In the famous video at the heart of the case, we can see a young man, Eliott, visibly drunk, being repeatedly hit by the police on the hood of a car, then dragged by the hair to the police vehicle. where he is struck again. His companion, Marion., who tried to intervene, was thrown to the ground by an official and then sprayed with tear gas. A third person present on the spot, Clément, is also abused. The police arrest them and take them to the Noailles police station, in the center of Marseille.
What happened ?
In a press release sent shortly after the video was released, the Bouches-du-Rhône police headquarters initially indicates that the young couple was arrested “for acts of contempt, rebellion and intentional violence against persons holding public authority. The circumstances of the arrest were immediately contested by the defendants who, for their part, accused two police officers of violence. »
In the initial report, the police report in particular that they were punched in the face by Eliott. Placed in police custody, the couple left the Noailles police station 43 hours later, with a simple reminder of the law. “At no time was I violent, insists Marion, one of the victims. I have never been violent in my life. I did 43 hours of police custody for nothing. It’s been 43 hours of humiliation. Arrived at the police station, we were expressly told that we should not take a lawyer because it would lengthen the procedure. And I believed them. »
“Watch the video and tell me at a single moment when my clients assaulted the police, plagues his lawyer, Thomas Hughes. Persons with public authority have transfigured the truth. Luckily the video says they didn’t do anything, but I can’t accept the fact that the police slipped up. The lawyer filed a complaint in parallel with this procedure for forgery in public writing, and seized the general inspectorate of the national police (IGPN).
And finally ?
The IGPN investigation was completed in June 2021 and the prosecution is prosecuting the two police officers for intentional violence by persons holding public authority, dismissing the fact that it was committed in a meeting or that the use of the tear gas canister would have been outside the legal framework. “The investigation was botched, accuses Me Hugues. Instead of appearing for violence in meetings, for penalties ranging from 7 to ten years in prison, the prosecution was dropped. The prosecution estimated that there were two separate scenes of violence. We are on a denial of justice. When contacted, the lawyer for one of the two defendants, Me Félicie Jassem, indicated that her client was “waiting to be judged fairly” and that she would plead for release.