Three French police charged over man’s death during riots

Three French police charged over man’s death during riots
Three French police charged over man’s death during riots

MARSEILLE: Three French police were charged on Thursday over a 27-year-old man’s death during nationwide rioting earlier this summer, prosecutors said, an uncommon instance of officers facing a criminal case over on-duty violence.

An autopsy of the man who died in Marseille during the riots showed marks on his chest consistent with the impact of a shot from a blast ball commonly used by police, prosecutors said.

The officers were arrested on Tuesday over the incident — the only known death at or on the margins of the unrest that gripped France in late June and early July over killing of a teenager by a policeman during a traffic check outside Paris on June 27.

The riots were met by a forceful police response.

The man, Mohamed Bendriss — a married father of one whose widow is expecting a second child — died after feeling unwell while riding a scooter.

Prosecutors have said they consider it “probable” that the man’s death was “caused by a violent impact to the thorax caused by the firing of a projectile of the blast ball type”.

The three will be charged with “armed violence unintentionally causing death”. However, the prosecutor’s office also said that the victim may have been involved in the looting of a shoe outlet in the city.

Indications were that Bendriss had been involved in theft from the store, and was being pursued by police as he rode his scooter away.

As he rode on the pavement past police he was hit by one projectile, and another — a so-called bean bag round — hit his scooter.



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