Justice has ruled in the Théo case. Three police officers were sentenced to sentences ranging from three to twelve months in prison on Friday January 19 by the Assize Court of Seine-Saint-Denis for the violent arrest in 2017 of Théo Luhaka, a young black man, erected in symbol of police violence.

After more than nine hours of deliberation, peacekeeper Marc-Antoine Castelain was found guilty of the baton blow which seriously injured the victim. He was sentenced to twelve months in prison and banned from practicing on public roads for five years. Suspended prison sentences of three months were handed down against his colleagues Jérémie Dulin and Tony Hochart for intentional violence. Up to three years of suspended prison time had been requested.

The three police officers were accused of having committed several brutal acts on the victim, 22 years old at the time, during an identity check that went wrong, on February 2, 2017 in Aulnay-sous-Bois (Seine-Saint- Denis). The scene was captured by the city’s video surveillance cameras. He has lifelong consequences.

“I stand by my statements, I have nothing to add,” said the main accused, Marc-Antoine Castelain, 34, earlier. The latter was prosecuted for intentional violence resulting in “permanent mutilation or infirmity” on the victim, with the aggravating circumstances of his status as a person holding public authority, with a weapon and in a meeting. He risked up to fifteen years in prison.

“I regret the consequences (…), I think I carried out my work in compliance with the laws,” said Tony Hochart, prosecuted for intentional violence with his colleague Jérémie Dulin. On Thursday, three years of suspended prison sentence were requested against Mr. Castelain, the author of the baton blow which injured Mr. Lukaha. For MM. Dulin, 42, and Hochart, 31, the attorney general had requested six and three months of suspended prison sentence respectively.

It is because Théodore Luhaka has irreversible after-effects of his arrest that the police officers found themselves before a criminal court for two weeks. A rare occurrence in cases of police violence. Almost seven years after this affair with national repercussions, the debate on the maintenance of order and the use of force by the police has continued to resurface thanks to news items.

On the administrative level, possible disciplinary sanctions will be pronounced “at the end of the legal proceedings”, the Paris Police Prefecture announced before the trial.