up to six months in prison against police officers

The Bobigny court sentenced, Thursday, January 6, six police officers to terms ranging from six to twelve months in prison, including six months closed for some, for violence and racist insults during the arrest of an Egyptian in April 2020.

A policeman, who had declared “He does not know how to swim, a bicot like that, it does not swim” at the address of the arrested, was sentenced to six months suspended prison sentence. Four of his colleagues were sentenced to twelve months, six of which were firm, and a twelve-month ban on practice. Another police officer was given a 12-month suspended prison sentence for “Non-prevention of violence”.

The Bobigny prosecutor’s office had not retained violence in its requisitions, only insults, and asked for lower penalties.

The court agreed to join the case on the facts of“Racist insults” direct citations from the civil party for the facts of « violence ».

“I am happy, justice has been done. I have been wronged, assaulted. I am happy with this decision ”, rejoiced Samir E., the victim, at the end of the deliberation.

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A case that had aroused indignation

On April 26, 2020 at around 1:30 a.m., police officers arrested in Ile-Saint-Denis (Seine-Saint-Denis) the 29-year-old Egyptian national suspected of theft of equipment on a construction site and who had attempted, according to police sources, to flee by jumping into the Seine. On the facts of theft, the case was dismissed.

After pulling the young man out of the river, one of the policemen said: “He does not know how to swim, a bicot like that, it does not swim”, according to a video captured by a local resident and broadcast on Twitter by journalist Taha Bouhafs. “Ah, it’s leaking, you should have hung a ball on its foot”, replied a colleague.

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The police officer who used the term « bicot » had pleaded “The joke in bad taste” during his trial in November and the “Need to decompress and make the gallery laugh”, had also declared the police officer, resulting from the personnel of night of the territorial direction of the public security of Hauts-de-Seine.

In this case which had aroused indignation, two police officers were sanctioned administratively in October by five days of firm exclusion. The director general of the national police, Frédéric Veaux, went beyond the recommendations of the disciplinary council of the police headquarters, which had proposed three.

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The World with AFP