Arrested on Saturday, August 3rd, during a demonstration against police violence, Bruno Kaïk said he wanted to file a complaint for “aggravated police violence” and “attempted murder”. The images of the police intervention, some of which are being circulated on social networks, will be added to his dossier, announced his lawyer on Monday, August 12th.
To shed light on what happened on Saturday, August 3rd, in Nantes, Bruno Kaïk and his lawyer, David Libeskind, held a press conference on Monday, August 12th, at the “Maison du peuple”. The 51-year-old native of La Rochelle was arrested by the police during the demonstration on August 3rd. He still bears the scars and intends to file a complaint with the IGPN (Inspectorate General of the National Police).
Presse Ocean: What were you doing in Nantes?
Bruno Kaïk: “With my son, we were in Pornic at 1 pm, far from the demonstration. We were talking about the latest events in Nantes, including the sad death of Steve. I told myself that it would be good for us to participate in the rally to be part of the voices against police violence. When we arrived at 3:45 pm, we realised very quickly that the actions of the police were transforming a peaceful march that looked like a black march.”
Presse Ocean: What happened during the procession?
“My son and I were very quickly targeted by police violence. We will pass on some documents attesting that, contrary to the police allegations and Sicop’s (Police Information and Communication Service) press release, the arrest followed a series of police harassment throughout the demonstration. Seeing the police excesses, I pulled myself out of the rally. By doing that, I got closer to the police. I found that a policeman from the BAC (Anti-crime brigade) was aiming at me with a LBD 40.
I noticed that me stopping and the fact of calling out to him did not bother him in his actions and that he continues to target me. I decided to turn on my phone and approach him by asking him to smile because he was being filmed. At that time, he approached even more. I was barely a few feet away from him, I had a lethal weapon pointed at my face. He used a guardrail for support, I guess to adjust his shot. In such a case, your life runs before your eyes and the fear you have is that his mind slips and his finger does the same. That’s where the police tried to intercept me for the first time, but it failed. So it was because I was filming them that they tried to challenge me, and not because of bottle throwing.”
Presse Ocean: Yet, you threw a glass bottle at the police?
“It’s the tree that hides the forest. It is a gesture that I recognise. But it is the consequence of the volleys of tear gas for one hour and a half and the LBD. At around 5 pm, I picked up a bottle and threw it in a derisory way towards the police, without any intention of hurting. Moreover, how can a wound be inflicted, at about thirty meters away, on heavily armed and protected persons? Shortly after, they managed to stop me by putting me on the ground. Four policemen then took me to the back of a van. One of them kept me strangled on the ground for about 15 minutes. I was told that I remained unconscious for five to six minutes. Then, after six hours of hospitalisation, they kept me in custody for 24 hours.”
Presse Ocean: Are you known to the police?
“I have already participated in peaceful gatherings. I have never dealt with the police. Moreover, that day, I considered that I participated in a simple gathering of citizens in a peaceful environment, in a wholesome step of raising voices against police violence. However, what I experienced in Nantes, this weekend, are scenes of civil war deliberately triggered by law enforcement.”
Presse Ocean: In several videos, we see you discussing with the police just before being stopped, what did you say to them?
“Yes, I’m seen communicating. I ask them to stop firing grenades and tear gas. A man was having a heart attack. That’s when they stopped me, when I do not represent any danger.”
Presse Ocean: What after-effects did you have a week later?
“I have a right wrist splint and I still have marks on my neck. I had to see an ENT specialist because I have difficulty swallowing and breathing.”
Presse Ocean: Do you expect to complain?
“I contacted the IGPN on Friday, August 9th, I intend to file a complaint for ‘aggravated police violence’ and ‘attempted murder’.”
The police confirm that Bruno Kaïk was arrested on August 3rd for “armed violence against a person of public authority”. For them, throwing a bottle motivated the detention. Concerning the fainting of the La Rochelle resident, the police attributed it to the “tear gas” and recalled that in custody he confirmed “to have had an anxiety attack in case of stress”.
On the other hand, concerning the wounds, the captain Anne-Sophie Rouland, in charge of communication with the departmental direction of public security, reviews the strangulation during about 15 minutes of which Bruno Kaïk claims to have been a victim of. “His medical certificate, before entry into custody and after hospitalisation, does not mention about a trace of strangulation. He did not talk to the doctor,” she says. Rather, there are traces of scratches on his coccyx and shoulder.