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

This 33-year-old father, that evening in a crisis of dementia, succumbed to a “slow mechanical asphyxiation“, linked to two choke keys and keeping him on the ground for a total of more than six minutes on his stomach, his hands cuffed behind his back.

The court sentenced the same sentence to Anthony B., 46, the peacekeeper who committed the strangulation gestures, Sébastien P., 48, at the time a brigadier, who pressed his knee on the lower back and on the arm of Amadou Koumé, and Major Didier M., 62, the highest ranking officer that evening.

They were found guilty of “faults“directly linked to the death of Amadou Koumé, the first for his use of force,”certainly legitimate“, but “insufficiently mastered“, as well as for having left Mr. Koumé in a prone position without inquiring about his state of health.

Sébastien P. demonstrated a “obvious lack of discernment“in no way”not interesting in (his) state of health after a very eventful arrest“and while he only represented at that time”no more danger“, according to the court.

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

More than seven years after this death, the family, whose complaint with civil action had relaunched the investigations after a filing without follow-up, had come to hear the decision in court on Thursday morning.

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, however 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 him. as such“, he added.

Anthony B.’s counsel declined to comment immediately. The defense, which had pleaded for release during the trial from June 27 to July 4, has ten days to appeal.

The prosecutor had requested a one-year suspended prison sentence against the three police officers.

A controversial technique, the choke key, banned in the gendarmerie and officially replaced in 2021 in the police, is at the heart of several investigations opened after the death of men arrested.

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