After the revelation by “the World” and “Mediapart” of the recordings of the voice of Cédric Chouviat during his deadly arrest in January, his family reacted during a press conference on Tuesday.
They are a dozen facing the press, shy, holding hands. There are the five children of Cédric Chouviat, some of whom have barely entered adolescence. But also his parents, his wife, his sister, aligned, united. This Tuesday, they wanted to react, accompanied by their lawyers, to transcripts of recordings revealed on Monday by the world and Mediapart, on which we hear the 42-year-old delivery driver agonize after a choke key and a ventral plating, shouting “I’m choking” seven times.
“We await a solemn response from President Emmanuel Macron, said Sofia Chouviat, in front of twenty cameras aimed at her. We still do not understand why the four police officers implicated in the death of my father were not suspended. “ Then, bitter: “And why is the throttle key technique still allowed?” A few days ago, the Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner, decided to ban it, before changing his mind under pressure from the police unions.
“These pressures, also exerted on justice when it investigates, are, we can say, lamentable, continues one of the family’s lawyers, Arié Alimi. It is high time for this type of behavior to change, as well as the recurring lies of the administration. In this case, the police headquarters lied from the first hours, explaining that Cédric Chouviat had insulted the officers, and that he was threatening. It’s wrong.”
“A temptation to blackmail in contempt”
On the transcriptions of the two films by the arrest of January 3, picked up by Cédric Chouviat himself and by a policewoman, we hear some ironic provocations from the delivery driver, “You are the clowns”, “puppets”, but neither insults nor threats. For Arié Alimi, “There is a temptation for the police to contempt blackmail. They take advantage of the asymmetry of the balance of power with the citizens to set in motion this gear and then justify violent techniques of arrest. Cédric Chouviat was already clinically dead when he was under the police, on January 3, when they were exercising a ventral plating [son décès a été prononcé officiellement à l’hôpital, le 5 janvier, ndlr]. A manipulation that followed another gesture whose dangerousness is documented, the key to strangulation, which led to the hemorrhagic fracture of the larynx of Cédric Chouviat. “
Questioned Tuesday morning by the AFP, Thibault de Montbrial, the lawyer of two of the police officers involved in the arrest, said that his clients “Have not heard” the pleas of the delivery driver. Placed in police custody and interviewed at the IGPN on June 17, the four officials have not yet been indicted, which, of course, is not final. Open for “manslaughter”, the instruction “Must be reclassified as counts of fatal blows which resulted in death without intent to give it [passible des Assises, ndlr], says William Bourdon, another council member of the Chouviat family. In this case, we salute the work of the examining magistrates, who have already made enormous progress in six months. However, we know that questioning the police is not easy for justice. This case must not be just a flash in the panes Justice must make its aggiornamento, so as not to fall back into this form of collective unconscious. “
Video: Cédric Chouviat: “A universal tragedy”, for the family lawyer (Le Figaro)