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Sunday, February 5, 2023

Court issues hefty fine on anti-police activist found guilt

By: V4 Agency

The activist’s eagerness to seize every opportunity to promote her anti-police violence and anti-racism views will cost her dearly as a court has recently ordered her to pay thousands of euros in compensation.

Assa Traore, the sister of Adama Traore – the man who died after his arrest in 2016 and is often referred to as the French George Floyd – will have to dig deep into her pocket.

According to information obtained by the French Marianne magazine, the head of the Traore Committee has lost the lawsuit she launched in civil procedure against the three officers who arrested her brother. After her brother, aged 24 in the summer of 2016, lost consciousness at the police station and died soon afterwards, she took to Facebook to blame the officers for his death. In addition, she also disclosed the identities of the three officers on social media.

Between 19 September and 19 November 2019, the young woman published five entries under a social media account named “La verité pour Adama” (Justice for Adama), dedicated to the memory of her deceased brother. In her posts, she accused the officers of killing her brother and referred to them by their names.

The investigation into the exact circumstances of the young man’s death has yet to be completed and several conflicting expert opinions have been issued during the procedure. Some say the officers are innocent, while others believe that their responsibility cannot be entirely ruled out. The latest forensic report suggests that Adama Traore’s death was caused by heat stroke, only made worse by him being handcuffed by police, but his underlying genetic disease also contributed to his death. Adama Traore suffered from sickle cell anemia, something the officers carrying out his arrest did not know and when the young man resisted, they handcuffed him.

In the appeals procedure, the judge fined Assa Traore for two of the five Facebook posts. In the first, Ms Traore wrote in first person singular that police had let her brother die, while in the second she expressly claimed that her brother had been killed by police. According to the court ruling, Assa Traore violated the officers’ right to be presumed innocent, so she was ordered to pay €4,000 in compensation to them, with an additional 100 euros payable after each day of delay. In addition, she was instructed to delete the two offensive posts from Facebook and publish a statement of the court ruling on her account.

Although the officers originally claimed a much higher amount of €15,000 each, their lawyer Rodolphe Bosselut described the court decision as a victory. When asked by the press, Yassine Bouzrou – the defence attorney of the Traore family – did not wish to comment on the ruling.

Assa Traore presumably continues to stand by her position that her younger brother was killed by French police. The caption of a photo taken on 25 February, on her other brother Yssoufou’s birthday, also reads that Adama Traore was killed by police in Persan, a town in Val-d’Oise departement.


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