a reconstruction organized in Nanterre on Sunday to advance the investigation

The investigating judges wish to reproduce the facts at the scene of the tragedy, with all the protagonists in the case, ten months after the death of the 17-year-old teenager, killed by a police officer’s shot during an arrest.


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The place where Nahel, 17, was shot and killed by the police, in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine), photographed on July 5, 2023. (ZAKARIA ABDELKAFI / AFP)

Almost a year after the death of Nahel, a 17-year-old young man killed by police shooting in Nanterre (Hauts-de-Seine) on June 27, 2023, a reconstruction of the facts is organized on Sunday May 5, franceinfo learned from consistent sources. It takes place from 9 a.m., said the lawyers of the two police officers who stopped the car in which Nahel was driving. The main protagonists of the case, including the two police officers – one indicted for intentional homicide, the other placed under the status of assisted witness – are summoned for this reconstruction. Witnesses present at the time of the incident will also be there.

The police officer responsible for the fatal shooting against the teenager will wear a balaclava, to avoid being recognized, confirms his lawyer. “This is a usual, frequent request that I make for each client during reconstructions,” specifies Laurent-Franck Liénard. Before this reconstruction, the lawyer adds that Florian M., 38 years old at the time of the facts, “stay combative and continue to defend yourself”.

Indicted for intentional homicide since June 29, placed in pre-trial detention for five months, this police officer was released on November 15. Placed under judicial supervision, he has since been banned from carrying a weapon and coming into contact with civil parties. He is also prohibited from going to Nanterre, outside of the reconstitution. He must also pay bail to the court. But he was allowed to return to work, in an administrative position.

“Divergences between the different versions”

After his release, Nahel’s mother called for a rally in Nanterre on November 19 and denounced a “true injustice”. “How can my son’s life have such little value for this justice?” she asked herself. A few hundred people responded to his call, peacefully.

“For the first time, all parties will be confronted with their testimony at the crime scene, it is a powerful moment”commented on Friday to AFP, Nabil Boudi, lawyer for Nahel’s mother, who specifies that his client is “very stressed”, because of “bad memories” that this reconstruction “revives”. Nahel’s father will be there on Sunday, but does not want “express himself more on this affair, which touches him and moves him deeply”explained his lawyer, Serge Money.

The judges who decided to release the indicted police officer recognized that there still existed “discrepancies between the different versions given”, but that the risk of consultation was no longer enough to keep the agent in detention, since the hearings of the civil parties and the interrogations of the two police officers present on site on the day of the shooting had been able to be carried out. Furthermore, in their eyes, in November, detention no longer constituted the only means of ensuring the protection of the accused.

At the same time, the investigation, led by two judges, a man and a woman, continues, while Nahel’s death has become a symbol of the debate on police violence. A first version from the police, according to which the 17-year-old teenager had rushed towards the police officer on a motorbike, was quickly refuted by a video filmed by a passer-by. The broadcast of the images, which show the official shooting Nahel at point-blank range during a road check, sparked urban violence in France.

“The magistrates want to get to the bottom of things”

Florian M., who worked for the 9th consecutive day, was interviewed for the first time by the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), seized to carry out the investigation, during a 48-hour period of police custody that began ten hours after the fact. Then his colleague present alongside him, as well as the passengers in the car driven by Nahel, aged 14 and 17, were interviewed by the police in the week following the tragedy.

Subsequently, the civil parties and the two police officers were interviewed, at least once, by the investigating magistrates. They all provided different versions, notably on the reason which led Nahel to restart, after the vehicle he was driving had immobilized. For the passenger seated in the front, his friend’s action was the consequence of the blows with the rifle butts given by the police. The author of the shot, for his part, assures that he was “a little pushed” And “cornered”, which led him to use his firearm. Even today, he claims that he was within his rights and invokes, according to his lawyer, article 122-4 of the Penal Code, which removes all criminal liability from a “person who performs an act ordered by legitimate authority”.

Investigators are also seeking to determine exactly the words spoken just before the shooting, and by whom, because they are difficult to hear in the video of the intervention. If the IGPN hears the sentence “You’re going to get shot in the head,” she was unable to formally attribute them to either the police or Nahel. A question also remains as to whether the words “shoot it” Or “cut it” (the engine) were pronounced. Further analyzes of this recording have since taken place, but the findings have not been made public. “The investigation is very effective. The magistrates want to get to the bottom of things, and quickly”estimates the lawyer of the police officer who fired the shot, who does not wish to say more.

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