Saturday, October 29, 2016

The self-defence of the police officers in question after the case, Échirolles, Le Figaro

Five police officers have shot and killed a man Friday night at least five bullets. The investigation must determine whether the agents were in a state of legitimate defence so that the individual held a handgun.

The death of a man at Échirolles, killed by police Friday night, is relaunching the debate on self-defence. The police reportedly fired after the individual has “pulled out a weapon from behind his back,” said the prosecutor in Grenoble, Jean-Yves Coquillat. Placed in police custody, the five policemen were released on Saturday. The investigation in fragrance will, however, continue to determine, “if it was self-defence,” explained a public prosecutor from Grenoble.

For the family, the death of this father of four children is “a big blunder”. The widow of the fifty-year-old has indicated a wish to make a complaint. This case revives the debate on self-defence. Especially as it was one of the main demands of the protests of the police that have been taking place since more than 10 days.

According to article 122-5 of the penal Code, self-defense is framed by the principles of necessity, proportionality and simultaneity, the court considers on a case-by-case basis. The act provides that: “is not criminally responsible the person who, in an unjustified infringement to themselves or others, accomplishes, at the same time, an act ordered by the necessity of self-defence of itself or others, except if there is disproportion between the means of defense used and the gravity of the infringement”. This law is not specific to police officers but applies to all citizens.

self-defense, under certain conditions

Since the attacks, the text has been amended. The act of June 3, 2016, which reinforces the fight against organised crime and terrorism, authorizes the police or the military to use his weapon to “prevent the repetition, in a time range, of one or more murders or attempted murders from being committed”.

According to the French administration, for that self-defence is recognized, it is necessary that the following conditions are met:

• The person has acted in the face of an attack unjustified its against you or against another person, or to interrupt a crime or tort. For example, if a victim defends itself in the face of a sexual assault.

• The act of defence was necessary. For example, the victim could not flee because the author blows the held.

• The means of defence employed were proportionate. This excludes the use of a firearm in the face of a person who is not violent for example.

• The response occurred at the time of the attack and not after. This excludes an attempt.

so The question is: self-defense is more flexible for the police? According to West France, which cites a report of the law commission of the Senate of 2013, the case law “takes into account the constraints” of the police officers and constables, and protects them. The report also stated that few police officers have used their weapons had been convicted.

to new reforms

Facing the challenge of police, the minister of the Interior Bernard Cazeneuve has promised that “on the question of self-defence, the debate (or should) should go to its term”. The right is supportive of the alignment of the plan of the officers on one of the policemen called by the union Alliance. As a military man, they can make use of their weapons when they are attacked or threatened by armed individuals, to “defend” an area which they occupy, if a summons repeated remain without effect or even to immobilize vehicles.

A subject that is controversial as some fear that self-defence could become a “licence to kill”.


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