This is the first time that Assa Traoré will have to face the three gendarmes who arrested his brother Adama, who died in 2016 in the courtyard of the gendarmerie in Persan (Val-d'Oise), after his arrest.
The activist is tried for public defamation, this Thursday and Friday, before the 17th correctional chamber of the judicial tribunal of Paris.
She was summoned to appear by the three soldiers, after the broadcast on social networks, on July 18, 2019, of a forum entitled “J'accuse…!
I accuse …!
By ASSA TRAORE
On January 13, 1898, the words of Emile Zola resounded in Dawn.
He demanded in the Dreyfus affair a justice that France was incapable of rendering.
July 17, 2019, it is in this same country that me, Assa Traore, I accuse in my turn 👇🏼 pic.twitter.com/wYD0wna8gd
- The Truth For Adama (@laveritepradama) July 18, 2019
In this text, which had a strong impact, Assa Traoré accused the gendarmes by name "of having killed [his] brother Adama by crushing him with the weight of their bodies".
She reproached them, moreover, for "not having rescued" and for "having kept him handcuffed face down on the ground", "affirming that he was pretending when he was about to die" .
For the plaintiffs, “this platform
is the acme of a continuous media surge ”which forced them“ to leave their assignment in L'Isle-Adam (Val-d'Oise) to preserve their safety and that of their loved ones ”.
"It is insinuated that my clients would have deliberately killed the victim"
According to the gendarmes, this platform would lend them "a deliberate attitude aimed at causing respiratory distress" on Adama Traoré and, "while being aware of this situation", to have done everything "so that this respiratory distress is fatal". "It is insinuated that my clients would have deliberately killed the victim: they are therefore charged with murder", summarizes Me Rodolphe Bosselut, the lawyer for two of the three gendarmes. “I remind you that my clients, at this stage, are not indicted for murder, or even for fatal violence. They were simply placed under the status of assisted witness for failure to assist a person in danger. "
Me Yassine Bouzrou, Assa Traoré's lawyer, does not read it at all the same: according to him, his client accuses the gendarmes of deadly violence and of non-assistance to anyone in danger, but not of murder.
“She only relayed the accusations she has already made in her complaint.
She has all the evidence to show that what she is saying is true.
And yet, five years after the death of her brother, it is she who is on the dock, instead of seeing the gendarmes answer the charges against them.
This is a fairly new situation.
Another procedure in progress
In a video posted Monday on the Facebook page of the "Truth for Adama" committee, Assa Traoré calls for a rally this Friday afternoon in front of the court. “The pressure must not come down. Because our lives matter. Because the life of my little brother counted ", launches the young woman, in reference to the American anti-racist slogan" Black Lives Matter (the life of blacks matters) ".
Me Rodolphe Bosselut deplores a “media hype” of which his clients are “weary”. “We would like to turn them into potential Derek Chauvin (Editor's note: the police officer found guilty of the murder of African-American George Floyd). It's grotesque ”, judges the council. Me Yassine Bouzrou, for his part, finds "logical that some people make comparisons between the two cases". “In both cases,” he explains, “we have extremely violent arrests and a ventral tackle. And in both cases, we have a person who dies. "
A separate defamation procedure is still ongoing, after the publication of a Facebook post in which Assa Traoré claimed that the gendarmes had "killed" his brother. Finally, the anti-racist activist was convicted in civil proceedings on February 26 by the Paris Court of Appeal for having undermined the presumption of innocence of the military, after a victory at first instance.