A year after the death of French delivery driver Cédric Chouviat after a routine police check, several hundred people gathered in Paris on Sunday to pay tribute to the victim and to support his family.
On January 3, 2020, the 42-year-old was stopped by police near the Eiffel Tower for allegedly using his phone while driving a scooter.
A tense confrontation with officers ensued, after which Chouviat was pinned to the ground with his motorcycle helmet still on his head.
One of the arrest officers allegedly used a stranglehold to subdue him.
An autopsy later revealed that he died of asphyxiation with “a fractured larynx”.
The officers defended their actions by claiming that they had not heard Couviat say, “I am suffocating.”
Three of the four officers who attended the police check were charged with manslaughter, but none were suspended.
Family call for justice
The victim’s father, Christian Chouviat, attended the rally on Sunday.
“We are only here to show that the Chouviat family still exists and will continue to exist until justice is established,” he told reporters, “and especially until Mr. Darmanin (the Home Secretary) decides to carry out the four suspensions. We expect that from Mr. Macron’s administration, from Mr. Darmanin. “
“We are not against the police, we are not against the state,” added the victim’s daughter, Sofia Chouviat. “We are against the people who justify this impunity, who justify these acts, these atrocities and these crimes.”
Chouviat’s family has called for chokehold techniques to be banned, but they are currently still allowed.
Sunday’s march was also intended to protest against legislative proposals that would make it illegal to post pictures of police officers “violating their physical or mental integrity.”
Protesters indicate that in the case of Cédric Chouviat, such videos were useful in the investigation.