Amadou Koume: Three police officers found guilty of manslaughter in Paris

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Three police officers have been found guilty of manslaughter and each sentenced to 15 months in suspended prison in connection with the 2015 death of a black man in Paris, a judge said today.

Amadou Koume, 33, died after he was thrown to the ground by officers at a bar, put in a chokehold and later left in front of him—while his hands behind his back—for more than six minutes. Remain till

Koume died as a result of a slow “mechanical asphyxia” according to a medical expert during the court hearing.

His name has become a protest slogan against police violence in some communities in France.

As the judge handed down the sentence in French court today, Coume family lawyer Eddie Arnetton said: “It is satisfying to hear the word ‘guilty’, but the sentence is relatively lenient.”

The prosecutor had sought a suspended sentence of one year, believing that necessary and proportionate force had been used to immobilize Koumea, but that officers were negligent in leaving him at their front.

According to AFPThe magistrate accused the three officers of not investigating the health status of Koumea despite the victim’s “psychiatric vulnerability”.

Rights groups say allegations of brutal, racist treatment of residents of immigrant backgrounds often by French police remain largely unresolved, particularly in disadvantaged city suburbs.

In 2020, as public anger over race discrimination escalated following the death of George Floyd after being detained by police in the United States, the French government promised “zero tolerance” for racism within law enforcement agencies.

Police unions responded by accusing the government of making it a scapegoat in order to take deep roots in French society.

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