Family Of Dead Paris Delivery Man Urges Chokehold Ban

June 23, 2020 - 5:26 am

PARIS (AP) — The family of a French delivery driver who died in the wake of a police arrest in January has urged President Emmanuel Macron to ban the use of chokeholds.

In an appeal Tuesday, the family of Cedric Chouviat is urging authorities to also suspend the four police officers involved in the arrest.

Chouviat, a 42-year-old delivery man, died in hospital, two days after his Jan. 3 arrest following a traffic stop near the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

The family noted reports from daily newspaper Le Monde and investigative website Mediapart that Chouviat told police on seven occasions during his 22-second arrest that he was “suffocating.” During the arrest, police used a chokehold to restrain Chouviat, a technique that was used during the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

A manslaughter investigation is underway though investigators have yet to decide whether to press charges against the four police officers involved in the arrest.

In a press conference, Chouviat’s daughter, Sofia, said she doesn't understand why the officers have not been suspended and why chokeholds are still being used by police. Her father suffered a fracture of the larynx, she said.

“We want answers,” she said. “We have a feeling of fear, of impunity, we want it to stop,” she said.

Chouviat’s father, Christian, said his son "was not given any chance to survive.”

Lawyer for two police officers, Laurent-Frank Lienard, told French news broadcaster LCI that his clients did not hear Chouviat’s words.

French police unions won a victory last week when the government backed down from banning the use of chokeholds during arrests.

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