BOBIGNY, France – A French court on Jan 19 gave suspended jail sentences to three officers in a rare case of police brutality coming to court, after a black man suffered irreversible rectal injuries.
Mr Theo Luhaka was left disabled after suffering severe anal injuries from a police baton, as well as wounds to his head, during a stop-and-search in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois in 2017.
Activists said the police officers had got away lightly, however, and called for firm prison terms.
The verdict was handed down in Bobigny, north-east of Paris, as concerns about police violence in France are coming to the fore following the death of a 17-year-old, who was shot by police during a traffic stop in June 2023.
After more than nine hours of deliberation, Marc-Antoine Castelain, 34, who was found guilty of the truncheon blow that injured Mr Luhaka, received a 12-month suspended prison sentence. He was also banned from carrying a weapon and working on the streets as a police officer for five years.
His colleagues Jeremie Dulin, 42, and Tony Hochart, 31, received three-month suspended terms.
They were banned from carrying a weapon and working on the streets as policemen for two years.
Prosecutors had asked for a three-year suspended jail term for Castelain and suspended sentences of six and three months for Dulin and Hochart respectively.
Castelain’s blow ripped the muscle surrounding Mr Luhaka’s anus, leaving a wound 10cm deep.
But the court rejected the charge of “deliberate violence resulting in permanent mutilation or infirmity”.
The tense courtroom was packed with Mr Luhaka’s supporters and plain-clothes police for the sentencing. Afterwards, he was greeted with a round of applause.
Activists held up posters showing the faces of people who had died as a result of police violence.
Mr Luhaka, now 29, has said he once dreamed of becoming a footballer, but now suffers from incontinence and spends most of his time in his room watching the United States detective series Monk.
EMEA Tribune is not involved in this news article, it is taken from our partners and or from the News Agencies. Copyright and Credit go to the News Agencies, email [email protected] Follow our WhatsApp verified Channel