Keyword: French police

'I'm suffocating': the final words of Cédric Chouviat, arrested by French police

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Cédric Chouviat, still with his helmet on, held on the ground by three police officers in Paris on January 3rd 2020. © Document Mediapart Cédric Chouviat, still with his helmet on, held on the ground by three police officers in Paris on January 3rd 2020. © Document Mediapart

On January 3rd 2020 deliveryman Cédric Chouviat, aged 42, was stopped on his scooter as part of a routine roadside police check in Paris, arrested, put in a chokehold then held face down on the pavement. His own mobile phone reveals that seven times he repeated the words “I'm suffocating” before falling unconscious and later dying. The episode inevitably has echoes of the American George Floyd whose last words when being held down by a police officer in Minneapolis were “I can't breathe”.  These revelations about the final words of Cédric Chouviat, contained in a report seen by both Mediapart and Le Monde, will put even greater pressure on the authorities to shed light on the nature of the arrest and the controversial techniques used by the French police to restrain the father-of-five. Pascale Pascariello reports.

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Mounting anger over French police suicides

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The recent suicide of a policewoman in southern France has highlighted alarm in the profession over the yearly number of officers, especially the young, who take their own lives. Unions claim that many of the around 50 suicides per year are 'workplace accidents', caused by increasing stress on the job and deteriorating professional conditions. The interior ministry thas recognised just one such case. But the tragic event in July may become a landmark case. Louise Fessard reports.