July 1, 2022

a medical expertise concludes once again that the police are responsible

The experts, mandated by the investigating judge in charge of the investigation, attribute his death to the gestures made during his arrest, which “resulted in a very rapid deprivation of oxygen to the brain”.

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Two years after the death of Cédric Chouviat during a check in Paris, the responsibility of the police officers who arrested him is pointed out by a new summary medical expertise, dated January 8 and which France Télévisions was able to consult on Monday January 24. The five experts, appointed by the investigating judge in charge of the investigation, attribute the death of the 42-year-old delivery driver to a “simultaneous association of several factors” stemming from gestures of interpellation having “resulted in a very rapid deprivation of oxygen to the brain”.

Three of the four police officers present had been indicted for “manslaughter” in July 2020, and the fourth placed under the status of assisted witness. On January 3, 2020, during a traffic check in the 7th arrondissement of the capital, Cédric Chouviat had been tackled to the ground, with his motorcycle helmet on his head, and had lost consciousness. Hospitalized in critical condition, he was pronounced dead two days later.

The summary expertise notes that “morphology” by Cédric Chouviat, “obese” and with a “cou court”, “participated in the occurrence of cardiac arrest”. The movement of “the forearm passed under the chin” of the delivery man has, according to them, caused a “mechanical crushing of the trachea” and some “carotid”, while a policeman could also have pulled on the chinstrap of the helmet while trying to control it, which “could be the cause of the fractures” seen in the neck. The five doctors, on the other hand, rule out the idea that the“previous cardiovascular status” by Cédric Chouviat played a role in his death.

The death of Cédric Chouviat has become one of the emblematic cases of the debate on police violence. It had led to the prohibition of the technique of “choke key”, announced in June 2020 by the then Minister of the Interior, Christophe Castaner. Its replacement by other methods had been formalized in July 2021. The family of Cédric Chouviat, who considers his death as a “police blunder”, calls for a reclassification of the facts as “willful violence resulting in death”, a crime punishable by assizes.