Three #French policemen are on trial for allegedly using excessive force during the 2017 arrest of Theodore Luhaka, a young Black man, which left him disabled and triggered protests. The incident in the suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois, north of #Paris, drew attention to claims of systemic racism within the French #police force and led to street demonstrations.
During the arrest, officer Marc-Antoine Castelain reportedly beat Luhaka with a collapsible baton, resulting in severe anal injuries. Castelain defended his actions in court, claiming that he followed police regulations and believed his actions were justified. He expressed remorse for the injuries inflicted on Luhaka.
Castelain and fellow officer Jeremie Dulin face charges of aggravated violence committed in a group involving members of the security forces and a weapon. Another officer, Tony Hochart, is charged with violence aggravated by two factors. Charges against a fourth policeman present during the incident were dropped, and rape charges initially brought against Castelain were also dismissed.
Security camera footage showed Luhaka being beaten on the ground during the arrest. He required urgent hospitalization and underwent multiple surgeries. Defense lawyers argued that the force used during the arrest was legitimate, while Luhaka's lawyer expressed concerns about the difficulty of the justice system in judging police officers.
If found guilty, Castelain could face up to 15 years in jail, Dulin 10 years, and Hochart seven. The court is expected to deliver a verdict on January 19.
As we await the verdict, let us continue to advocate for justice and demand an end to police brutality, standing in solidarity with Theodore Luhaka, who has been affected by these injustices.