France Police Cleared over Zyed and Bouna 2005 Deaths

BBC News, May 18, 2015

A court in France has acquitted two police officers accused of failing to help two boys, whose deaths at a power substation led to weeks of riots.

Bouna Traore, 15, and Zyed Benna, 17, were electrocuted in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois in October 2005.

Police had chased the boys as they made their way home from a football match.

Almost 10 years later, the court in Rennes cleared Sebastien Gaillemin and Stephanie Klein of charges of failing to assist someone in danger.

Adel Benna, Zyed’s brother, said he was sickened by Monday’s ruling.

“Police officers are untouchable. It’s not just in this case, they are never convicted,” he told reporters.

The officers had been accused of doing nothing to help, despite knowing the boys were in danger when they were seen approaching the EDF power facility. They insisted they were not to blame.

Bouna and Zyed were electrocuted while a third youth, Muhittin Altun, escaped with burns.

The deaths ignited three weeks of clashes with security forces in run-down city suburbs across France.

Vehicles and public buildings were burned and thousands of people arrested in rioting that led to the first state of emergency in the country for more than 20 years.


For years the case dragged through the courts, until in 2012 France’s highest court overturned a ruling that dropped a “failure to help” charge against the officers.

But Monday’s closely-watched decision, which comes after a five-day trial in March, is final and cannot be appealed.

The trial focused on a phrase that Mr Gaillemin, 41, radioed to colleagues, saying: “If they enter the site there’s not much hope they’ll make it alive.”

The call was received by Ms Klein, a police intern at the time, who was accused of not reacting.

But president judge Nicolas Leger ruled that neither officer had a “clear awareness of an imminent and serious danger”, which would be required under French law for a conviction.

The officers’ lawyer, Daniel Merchat, said his clients were “relieved”.

“For nine years, my clients have been completely convinced that they committed neither a mistake, nor a crime. This nine-year case has left them suffering . . . for them this is now a page that has turned,” AFP news agency quoted him as saying.

If found guilty, the two officers would have faced up to five years in prison. However, both the defence and prosecution had called for an acquittal.

The two dead teenagers’ relatives have launched a civil case, seeking a total of €1.6m (£1.2m; $1.8m) in compensation and damages.

The hashtag #ZyedEtBouna was trending in France on Monday, with many users expressing their dismay at the verdict.

But far-right National Front MP Marion Marechal Le Pen, a granddaughter of party founder Jean-Marie Le Pen, provoked an angry response when she used the word “rabble” to describe young delinquents, echoing what former Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy had said two days before the two boys died.

She suggested the ruling showed that the riots had been unleashed “for pleasure and not because of a police blunder”.

Clichy is one of France’s most notorious immigrant “banlieues” (suburbs).

In January, Prime Minister Manuel Valls said France should no longer tolerate “ghettoisation” in the suburbs, following the Paris attacks that left 17 people dead.

Social alienation was seen as a factor in the attacks, carried out by jihadist gunmen.

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  • When do the riots and car-b-ques in Paris begin?

    • Oil Can Harry

      I dunno but they certainly won’t end until every Sharia savage is deported from the West.

    • Charles Martel

      Blacks were revolting every time I have been to Paris.

      • John Smith

        They’re revolting anywhere you find them.

  • It should be pretty goddamned obvious to anyone other than a complete imbecile that breaking into an electrical power substation is dangerous. The fences around those places have warning signs on them here, but I can’t imagine why signs are needed, as that stuff looks rather intimidating.

    Bouna: “Hey Zayed, this stuff be lookin’ all electrical an’ sheet.”
    Zayed (in a Beavis-like voice): “Let’s steal some of it. That would be cool!”


    • Oil Can Harry

      Two Darwin Award shoo-ins right there.

      • “They’ll never follow us in here.”

        I turns out that these three stooges were absolutely right, and Muhittin survived with (maybe) a little more understanding of electricity. Officers Gaillemin and Klein were at least bright enough to refrain from following, because they’d be dead too.

        • Ella

          I would not let my dog pee on a power box or an electrical substation. For unknown reasons, being arrested must be considered worse than electrocution.

          • John Smith

            Especially since Europe is catch-and-release for criminals, especially for young, “diverse” ones.

        • Reynardine

          “Nobody in here but us fried chickens!”

      • John Smith

        All those cousin marriages produced a positive outcome for once.

    • Reynardine

      I propose we build more of these power substations, sans fences, to act as urban bug-zappers.

      • “Let’s Draw The Prophet Muhammad” contests seem to be effective as well, as was recently discovered in Texas.

        • Reynardine

          Better yet, combine the two and hold the next “Let’s Draw The Prophet Muhammad” in a power substation.

          • Lexonaut

            May I suggest a modification …

            Let’s draw the prophet Muhammad to the power substation.

    • Lexonaut

      “The fences around those places have warning signs on them …”

      With those language-independent lightning bolt symbols used ’round the world. Of course if your only exposure to the concept of electricity is actual lightning, then I can see how you might be tempted to try to dismantle a structure that appears to be made of fenceable metals.

      • Alden

        10 ft fences hard to climb over.I remember they had to go over 2 more fences to get to the apparatus that actually electricuted them If this happened in litigation happy America, the families would sue for wrongful death because the electric company maintained an “attractive nuisance” thus luring the innocents to their to death.

  • dd121

    As long as there are brown people in your country, expect more rioting.

  • ricpic

    It stuns me that immigrant rioting has not been made grounds for deportation. I’m sure the legal minds in France could come up with the wording that would make such a Deportation Act constitutional. The rioting reinforces the muzzies declaration that whatever territory they occupy is NOT France. Expelling those caught would be part of the perfectly legitimate process of reasserting French sovereignty in France.

    • George Moriarty

      My traditional view of the French people is that they were proud, arrogant, elitist and fiercely nationalistic. In this regard I just don’t understand how France has allowed itself to be invaded even from its former colonies in North Africa and Indo-China.
      The French need to put in place some very strict repatriation laws where you will be sent back to your grandfather’s place of birth for any crime, riot or civil commotion.
      These teenagers effectively committed suicide by entering an electricity sub-station yet this is enough to start riots in the immigrant community. These people do not belong in a civilised society. Read out the Riot Act and deport them. And yes, most of the countries to where they should be sent won’t even have electricity sub-stations!

      • Caesar Avgvstvs

        [i]In this regard I just don’t understand how France has allowed itself to be invaded even from its former colonies in North Africa and Indo-China.[i]

        Globalist ideologues, consisting of cultural relativists and predatory capitalists, infiltrated the highest levels of government after the countercultural revolution of the sixties. They initiated the great social engineering experiment that allowed massive third world immigration to demographically transform France and other European nations.

      • Charles Martel

        Sarkozy and the like are not French but you know who.

        • Alden

          twsnbn They Who Shall Not Be Named

  • John Smith

    Unless the cops are also electrical workers, why do they need to ensure the safety of fleeing suspects entering a restricted area around high voltage equipment, if even then? This is as nuts as forcing victims (or cops) to justify self-defense, which I take it is a fairly frequent occurrence in Europe.

    • I’m pretty smart and I don’t know anything about high voltage power substations except to stay the heck out of them.

      • Lexonaut

        Well, that’s not enough these days. You have to stay out of them for politically correct reasons. You can’t just be concerned about your own safety, that would be selfish.

      • John Smith

        I know that if they don’t turn them off first, they seldom work on these, and not w/o non-conductive tools and double insulated rubber gloves, which they check for leaks by blowing in them, along with insulated rubber boots.

        • Alden

          Those high voltage stations require a lot more safety procedures than ordinary electrical work anyway. But it is all the fault of evil White French police and the power company that the poor innocents died.

  • Sun

    Kick them out.

  • Tarczan

    The two dead teenagers’ relatives have launched a civil case, seeking a total of €1.6m (£1.2m; $1.8m) in compensation and damages.

    It’s good to see they have a healthy grievance industry in France.

    • Alden

      I knew it!!! Against whom, the electric company or the police? Both are govt agencies City or Paris or Department of the Seine.

  • Lexonaut

    “Almost 10 years later, the court in Rennes cleared Sebastien Gaillemin
    and Stephanie Klein of charges of failing to assist someone in danger.”

    I have several reactions … First, how does it take ten years to decide a case as simple as this one? The law seems clear if perhaps stupid — the kids did something dumb, they paid the Darwinian Awards price for their actions, the police stood around and did nothing, and if doing nothing in this case is a crime in France then per the law they should have been convicted in about ten minutes, not cleared of the charges after ten years.

    Second, what kind of nation fields an ineffective police force that’s afraid of a large segment of its own citizenry? Oh wait .. …

  • Rob

    Well it is the fault of the kids from running away from the police and getting fried.

  • Alden

    Ridiculous the police were ever charged. The pavement apes had just committed a robbery when they heard sirens. Assuming the police were after them they jumped the fence into a power station, ignored or could not read all the warning sings jumped 2 more fences inside the power station and electrocuted themselves.

    The sirens were not for them, the sirens were for another group of robbers the accused officers were pursuing.