The driver of the 18th arrondissement of Paris, Mohamed M., 38, was indicted on Thursday at the Georges Pompidou hospital (15th century), and he was remanded in custody at his place of hospitalization. A little earlier in the morning, the Paris public prosecutor’s office had opened a judicial investigation against him on the counts of “attempted intentional homicide of a person holding public authority, aggravated refusal to comply, driving a vehicle despite the ‘injunction to return his driving licence, recidivism of driving while having used narcotics and under the influence of an alcoholic state’.
It was on Saturday June 4 around 11 a.m., rue Ordener in Paris (18th century) that three police officers on mountain bikes decided to check a Peugeot 207, with two men and two women on board because the rear passengers were not wearing their seat belts. But the driver refuses to stop. Officials are chasing the vehicle. And in front of number 47 boulevard Barbès, the car is stuck in traffic and then restarts while a policeman is in front of the car. Three officials opened fire at least nine times according to the first elements of the investigation which has only just begun since an instruction has been opened. The city car continued its course until the intersection between rue Custine and rue de Clignancourt where it struck another vehicle. The driver leaves the cabin before falling to the ground, he is hit in the chest by a bullet. The front passenger, Rayana, aged 21, injured by a bullet in the head, died a few hours later at the Lariboisière hospital.
The three police officers, two men and a woman, aged 23 to 32, were taken into custody last Sunday in the Paris offices of the general inspectorate of the national police. They said they opened fire because they believed their lives were in danger. The investigators also recovered video images of the scene from a bus which corroborate their account, according to their lawyer Me Lienard. The civil servants were released while the prosecution opened a judicial investigation which will make it possible to trace precisely the course of the events and to determine the exact circumstances of the use of their weapons. The passengers of the car were interviewed and a call for witnesses was also launched to gather as much information as possible.
The family of the deceased young woman intends to take legal action against the police but also against the driver she barely knew. This man is very unfavorably known to the police with nearly 80 mentions in the processing of criminal records (TAJ) for cases related to narcotics and traffic offences. According to a judicial source, he was at the time of the facts on “long weekend permission” from the center for adapted sentences in Villejuif (Val-de-Marne), where he benefits from a semi-freedom regime. He was driving without a licence, under the influence of drugs and alcohol.
“My brother is not able to run into the police”
On Thursday morning, Me Ibrahim Shalabi, the driver’s lawyer, and Sonia, the man’s sister, gave a press conference at the premises of the collective “La police assassinate”. Young Sonia said: “Today my brother is still in intensive care, he is in bad shape but his condition is improving. What I do know is that he would never have been able to run into the police. Before adding: “Yes it’s true, he refused to comply for fear surely of returning to prison, he did not have a driving license. But the police were not aware of all this. And nine cartridges for a refusal to comply, it is inadmissible”. Me Ibrahim Shalabi maintains that “nothing justified the use of firearms in this context. A refusal to comply has never been considered a dangerous situation. There were nine shots. There was a high probability that other people would be injured.”