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The Image of a Police Officer Seemingly Strangling a Man Was Indeed Taken in Nantes During a Demonstration

On the sidelines of a gathering in Nantes against police violence, a man was violently arrested by a Brigade Anti-criminalité agent. Captured in pictures by reporters who were present on site, the scene has been spread around social networks.

A helmeted policeman seemingly strangling a relatively old man on the ground: this black and white image has been doing the rounds on social networks. While Internet users wondered about the origin of the snapshot, some suspect that it was taken in Moscow during recent oppositional demonstrations, it is the photographer Bsaz who captured this image on August 3rd in Nantes.

The scene indeed took place during a demonstration against police violence riddled with excesses, on the sidelines of a rally for the young Steve Maia Caniço, who went missing in Nantes after a violent dispersal by the police of an evening, and whose body was found in the Loire.

As was reported on the CheckNews page of the Libération website, the same scene was also filmed by the reporter Mezone. In his footage, we see the individual in the photo, shirtless, approaching and talking to the police with big gestures. As he seems to turn around, a policeman rushes towards him and then slams him violently on the ground, a hand gripping the civilian’s neck. A baton blow forces the cameraman to back down while the detention continues.

The reporter, interviewed by Libération, assures that the protester had “done nothing prior” despite the tense context, and testifies: “The person on the ground in the photo went to the BAC to tell them that a man was on the ground, just a little further, to ask them to calm down.”

The Police Information and Communication Service (Sicop), in turn, said that the man had “thrown a glass bottle against a police officer”, a scene that is not visible in the footage. He was then “driven by the police to the hospital” because of the effect of tear gas. Still according to the same source, he admitted the projectile throw, then was released from custody.

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In other images posted on Twitter, we can distinguish the same man at the foot of a BAC agent who stopped him. Handcuffed, he seems to have trouble breathing.


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