Monday, February 26, 2024

Outrage in France over light sentences for three police officers in abuse case that sparked riots

Three French police officers were sentenced Friday to sentences of 3 to 12 months in prison, though not served, for the violent arrest of a young black man in 2017 who caused violent protests.

The heaviest sentence was for an officer who admitted hitting the baton that caused a four-inch rupture of the sphincter of Théo Luhaka, a 22-year-old man of Congolese origin.

Luhaka, now 29, has since suffered physical and psychological consequences from the injuries sustained, despite undergoing two operations.

The convicted man faced a sentence of up to 15 years in prison but received a shorter sentence, along with a ban on performing his duties on the road.

The other two officers who tried received lesser sentences, three months after being found guilty of the charge of voluntary violence.

For several weeks in 2017, Luhaka became a symbol against the violence of the French police towards the inhabitants of the periphery of the town, many of them from Africa. Several hundred young people were arrested in various parts of the country because of the protests at that time.

This case sparked other emblematic cases that also shocked public opinion and caused two of the main episodes of urban violence in France this century.

The deaths of two teenagers, Ziad Benna (17 years old) and Bouna Traoré (15), who were electrocuted while fleeing from the police, unleashed great unrest at the end of 2005.

And recently, the death of the teenager Nael, shot and killed by an officer in June 2023 when he bypassed police control on public roads, was damaged by confrontations with the authorities, theft, and even burning businesses and public buildings such as schools and daycare centers.

World Nation News Desk
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