One dead and one seriously injured during a police check in Vénissieux

Un man is dead and another is between life and death, hit by police fire on the night of Thursday to Friday near Lyon, said the prosecution which opened an investigation for aggravated refusal to comply. The two police officers who used their weapons were placed in police custody, which was lifted, the Lyon prosecutor’s office announced on Friday evening. While the first elements “seem to corroborate the hypothesis of self-defense”, additional investigations will however “confirm the exact circumstances in which the police used their weapons”, continued the prosecution, announcing that it had decided to open a judicial inquiry on the same counts.

Around 12:05 a.m. on the night of Thursday to Friday in Vénissieux, very close to Lyon, “four night patrol police officers spotted a vehicle parked in the Carrefour car park in Vénissieux and reported stolen,” said the prosecution. As officials prepared to check him, the driver of the vehicle engaged reverse and then forward, hitting a policeman who was thrown onto the bonnet of the vehicle, who was continuing to move forward.

The second brain dead individual

Two police officers, including the one positioned on the bonnet, used their weapon several times. The vehicle ended its race a hundred meters further, added the prosecution in a press release. The police discovered two very seriously injured men in the passenger compartment of the vehicle and provided them with first aid. The firefighters quickly on the spot noted the death of the passenger while the driver was transported to the hospital in absolute emergency, according to the prosecution. His vital prognosis remains very committed, according to a police source.

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The police officer hit, slightly injured in the legs, was also referred to the hospital for examination, according to the prosecution which indicates that two investigations have been opened. The first, entrusted to the Departmental Security, concerns concealment of theft, aggravated refusal to comply and violence with a weapon against law enforcement officers. The second, for violence with a weapon by persons holding public authority resulting in death without the intention of giving it, was entrusted to the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN). According to a police source, the two men who were shot were unfavorably known to the police.

Darmanin notes an increase in refusals to comply

“We have for many years […] more and more refusal to comply […]. The law has been amended to strengthen the powers of police and gendarmes and convict these people. I have no doubts about the work of the police,” commented Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin during a visit to Corsica, “without presuming how the police did their job” in Lyon. “We are on all the characteristics of a refusal to comply,” said Nicolas Bujdo, deputy departmental secretary of the Alliance National Police union. “Colleagues go to control a stolen vehicle, which starts, and they fire back. They shot to save their lives,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Of 14,240 refusals to comply recorded in 2021 by the national police, 157 resulted in “use of firearms on moving vehicles”, according to figures given by the spokesperson for the national police on Europe 1 in June 2022, after a case that occurred in Paris. Refusal to comply targets a person who “consciously refuses to stop after the order of an officer clearly identified as such” and constitutes an offence, “punishable by a maximum prison term of one year, obviously increased to five years when there is a danger to the life of others”, according to the same source.

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