Death of Amadou Koumé in 2015: three police officers sentenced to 15 months in prison suspended

On September 20, the Paris Criminal Court sentenced three police officers to 15 months suspended imprisonment for manslaughter, after the death on March 6, 2015 of Amadou Koumé during his arrest in a bar in the capital.

This 33-year-old father, who was in the midst of a crisis of dementia that evening, had succumbed to “slow mechanical asphyxia”, linked to two strangulation keys and his being kept on the ground for a total of more than six minutes. on his stomach, hands cuffed behind his back. The prosecutor had requested a one-year suspended prison sentence against the three police officers.

The court decided to retain the same 15-month suspended prison sentence for Anthony B., 46, the peacekeeper who committed the strangulation gestures, Sébastien P., 48, at the time a brigadier, who had pressed his knee on the lower back and on the arm of Amadou Koumé, and Major Didier M., 62, the highest ranking officer present that evening.

Obvious lack of discernment

They were found guilty of “mistakes” directly related to the death of Amadou Koumé, the first for his use of force, “certainly legitimate”, but “insufficiently controlled”, as well as for having left the arrested in position belly without inquiring about his state of health. Sébastien P. showed an “obvious lack of discernment” by not “taking an interest in [son] state of health after a very eventful arrest” and while Amadou Koumé did not represent at that time “no longer any danger”, according to the court.

“A lenient sentence” for the lawyer for the victim’s family

Didier M. was guilty of “a succession of negligence and shortcomings” as “responsible for the operation”, present in the bar, during transport in the van and on arrival at the police station , where Adama Koume was found dead.

More than seven years after this death, the family’s complaint with civil action had relaunched the investigations after a filing without follow-up. “Hearing the word guilty naturally is a satisfaction in such a case, but the sentence is relatively lenient, so there is a bit of justice that is done,” governed Me Eddy Arneton, their lawyer. “It will not bring back Amadou Koumé, nevertheless his family now knows precisely the circumstances in which he died and also knows that his death was due to police officers, so it is a step, and we welcome as such,” he added.

Anthony B.’s counsel declined to comment immediately. The defence, which pleaded for acquittal during the June 27 trial, has ten days to appeal. A controversial technique, the choke key, banned in the gendarmerie and officially replaced in August 2021 in the police, is at the heart of several investigations opened after the death of several people arrested.


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