Three French police officers linked to the death of a delivery man at the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France were charged with manslaughter.
According to a report by Al Jazeera, two of the officers involved were charged last week, while the other one was charged on Thursday. A fourth one was being investigated but has not been charged.
Cedric Chouviat, 42, and of North African origin, was pinned to the ground by the three police even as he pleaded suffocation seven times before his body went limp, based on footage captured by witnesses.
Police said they ordered Chouviat to stop while on his scooter, claiming he was looking at his mobile phone and had a dirty licence plate, besides being disrespectful, abusive, and who resisted arrest.
Chouviat was rushed to the hospital already in critical condition. He died of asphyxiation with a fracture of the larynx two days after.
Chouviat’s family said on Thursday that murder charges against the officers “were too lenient” for the violence and aggressiveness of the police officers.
In recent weeks, France has seen a series of protests in public against racism and police brutality. The demonstration was sparked by a report clearing authorities linked to the death of 24-year-old black man Adama Traore while in police custody in 2016.
One of the officers admitted that Traore was pinned to the ground with their combined body weight.
“Voluntary blows led to the death of Cedric Chouviat,” the family was quoted as saying in a statement.
Under French law, persons involved in voluntary violence are slapped with a higher penalty than manslaughter.
The family said that France should ban the chokehold restraint technique which was used on Chouviat—a position where a person is forced to pin down on the ground while pressure is applied on their torso.
Former Interior Minister Christophe Castaner has already banned the chokehold technique in June but took back the announcement after a backlash by police who demonstrated across France.
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