August 4, 2021

a police commissioner indicted

The divisional commissioner Grégoire Chassaing, in charge of the police system at the time of the fall in the Loire of Steve Maia Caniço in Nantes in June 2019, was indicted for manslaughter, according to information obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP ) and confirmed by The world.

Steve Maia Caniço, a 24-year-old extracurricular animator, had disappeared after a controversial police operation during an electro evening on the banks of the Loire on the night of June 21 to 22, 2019. His body was found drowned in the river over a month later.

Article reserved for our subscribers Read also “The police operation, as it was carried out, was madness”: a year after Steve’s death, the bitterness of those close to him

The analysis of the readings of his telephone made it possible to locate the moment of his fall in the Loire at 04:33, “Either in the time of the intervention of the national police” on the Quai Wilson where the evening took place, had relieved, in mid-June, the prosecutor of Rennes.

The former prefect Claude d’Harcourt before the examining magistrate

Gregoire Chassaing “Disputes the grounds and terms of his indictment, but he does not wish to comment on an ongoing investigation”, commented to AFP his lawyer, Louis Cailliez.

Another commissioner, Thierry Palermo, departmental director of public security at the time of the facts, was placed under the status of witness assisted at the end of his hearing on Monday by the investigating judge in charge of the case, according to the Rennes prosecutor, Philippe Astruc.

Read also: The police commissioner on the ground “lacked discernment”

“It is a great relief for the family and a feeling of justice that they have badly needed for two years”, reacted the lawyer of the family, Cécile de Oliveira. The two years since Steve’s death, “It was the time to carry out extremely technical and complex expertise”, recalled the lawyer. But, “For them who lost a child, this time was long”, she added.

Six natural persons and two legal persons are summoned by the examining magistrate in this case, by the end of September. The other people summoned are the mayor (PS) of Nantes, Johanna Rolland, and his former security assistant Gilles Nicolas, the former prefect of Loire-Atlantique Claude d’Harcourt (now in post at the general directorate for foreigners in France at the Ministry of the Interior) as well as the director of the prefect’s cabinet in post at the time of the events. The town hall of Nantes and Nantes Métropole are also convened as legal persons.

Our selection of articles on the death of Steve Maia Caniço

  • Facts. On the night of June 21 to 22, 2019, at 4 a.m., police went to Quai Wilson in Nantes to disperse a techno party. Clashes broke out and participants said they were blinded by a cloud of tear gas; some, disoriented, fell into the river. Steve Maia Caniço, 24, had been missing since that evening, until his body was found on July 29.
  • Investigation. Since the tragedy, the investigation has been particularly slow. The mobilization of his friends increased the media coverage and put pressure on the authorities. The investigation was finally disoriented in September in Rennes, at the request of the two Nantes investigating judges in charge of the case. His phone and a witness are at the heart of the latest advances in the investigation.
  • The IGPN report. The day after the discovery of the body, the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) published a report affirming that there is no “Direct link between the intervention of the police and the disappearance of Mr. Steve Maia Caniço”. For our journalist specializing in the police, it is a way of “Justify the police intervention while criticizing its methods”. In September, a report from the general inspection of the administration estimated that the police commissioner on the ground had “lacked judgment”.
  • One after. “The police operation, as it was carried out, was madness” : a year after his death, his relatives express their bitterness.
  • The case summarized in video: What we know about the death of Steve Maia Caniço in Nantes.

The World with AFP