A total of 24 individuals have been taken into police custody by the police since Saturday, April 17.
What were the legal consequences after the riots in Tourcoing? Have the individuals arrested been convicted? The question arises at a time when justice is regularly accused of laxity. The recent controversy after the verdict of the Viry-Châtillon attack trial is an illustration of this.
As a reminder, the neighborhoods of Tourcoing were recently shaken by four nights of urban violence during which the police were targeted by jets of projectiles, fireworks from mortars but also jets of Molotov cocktails from the share of small groups of individuals. In total, during this violence, 24 individuals aged 16 to 22 were arrested by the police. What is the profile of these young people? We attended a hearing at the Lille Criminal Court, Friday, April 23, during which two defendants were presented to justice for immediate appearance: Moussa * and Samir *, both born in 2002.
To see also – Tourcoing shaken by a second night of urban violence
A “call to destroy everything” relayed on Snapchat
It’s around 3 p.m. when Moussa, clad in dark jeans and a dark hoodie, steps up alone to the bar. The 19-year-old does not have a lawyer. The president takes the floor and sets out the facts: she is accused of having participated, on April 20, 2021, in a grouping with a view to preparing for willful violence against people and having damaged property. Concretely, he would have belonged to a group which engaged in mortar fire on public roads after having received several Snapchat messages calling for riots and urban clashes. “The court will have to send the case back since you cannot consent to be tried today without a lawyer.», Indicates the president to the young man, who nevertheless wanted to be judged.
The conditions of the return are nevertheless mentioned in order to know whether he will be placed in pre-trial detention or under judicial supervision pending his trial. For this, several elements of his personality are discussed. We learn that the young man has already been fined 300 euros for taking the name of a third party. And according to a police note, which we were able to consult, Moussa has already been the subject of four hearings in the context of legal proceedings for a criminal act.
«What do you do with your days sir?», Asks the president. “At the moment I am working at home. I am a high school student in 1st, in management-administration. I do my homework», Answers the young man in a calm and calm voice. He says he plans to do a BTS afterwards. But this image of a model student is undermined by the words … of his own mother, who points to her low investment. “Absenteeism was mentioned by your mother: ‘I take my head all the time with him for that’, she says», Reports the president. “It was just at the start of the year but now I go there regularly. Homework I do regularly», Justified Moussa. “In college I was never very good, I never wanted to. In recent years I have started to improve myself», He continues in a tone that seems sincere. “And what is it that, despite the curfew, you are found out in the street?», Then shouts the president. The young man struggles to answer.
The public prosecutor then takes the floor. “I am going to ask you to place it under a committal order”, she explains. She evokes his school absenteeism, which could lead him not to appear before his judges, and the facts of a “Particular gravity”. On several occasions, she underlines “the risk of renewal of the offense». «The person concerned gave a lot of echo to a call for urban violence, a call to destroy everything, to throw Molotov cocktails at a police station», Continues the prosecutor. “You have someone who has shown that on a simple Snapchat call he is able to go to places of urban violence. Got a young man going to say, ‘I was just going through this’», She continues, ironic. Moussa wants to speak one last time. “I made an effort during the second semester. My average is quite correct», He indicates before going to sit down again.
A hassle-free journey
It is Samir’s turn, dressed in jeans and a red and blue sweatshirt, to appear at the bar accompanied by his lawyer. He is accused, on April 20, 2021, of acts of rebellion against the police, of degradation and voluntary deterioration of property, in this case a dustbin fire, but also of willful violence against a person holding the deposit. public authority, through the use of mortars. His lawyer explains from the outset that he read the case the day before at 6 p.m. and asks for the referral of the trial to prepare his defense.
As for Moussa, the court nevertheless retains the possibility of proposing security measures within the framework of the immediate appearance. There too, the course of the young man is mentioned. Schooled and holder of the certificate of aptitude for the functions of animator (BAFA), Samir has never been convicted. “What do you do with your days?», Asks the president. “I am a final year pro commerce studentHe explains in a shy voice, his hands behind his back. Samir lives with his parents with his three sisters and according to his mother, quoted by the president, there is no particular problem with the school. He also did an internship in a hypermarket which apparently went well. In short, his journey seems without a hitch. However, we learn that the young man was psychologically followed up during his childhood after a fire during which one of his relatives died. However, it is in particular for a fire – of trash -, that it is in court, notes the president. “What are your plans for you, sir after the final year?She asks him. “A BTS MCO (operational commercial management, editor’s note)», He answers soberly.
The prosecutor then takes the floor on the conditions of the dismissal. “We have a young man who goes to school, we have courses that are taken, we have family support which is important», She explains. She advocates home detention with the possibility of leaving to go to class only. As for his lawyer, he admits that his client was out on the night of April 20 but believes that certain material elements can exonerate him. For him, judicial control would be more than enough. “He is a boy who is well in his head, the mother is a maternal assistant, the father is an engraver. He is educated and inserted», Pleads the lawyer.
After several minutes of deliberation, the trials of the two defendants are finally both postponed to June. Moussa is placed under judicial supervision with an obligation to reside in Lille and an obligation of training (he will have to provide attendance forms and notes). He is also forbidden to leave the home between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m. and he will have to check in every week at the Lille police station. As for Samir, he is also placed under judicial supervision with an obligation of training (he must justify that he goes to school) and a check-in once a week at the Tourcoing police station.
To see also – How social networks fuel hatred between rival gangs
And for the others questioned?
Of the 22 other individuals arrested, “three young men were presented to the criminal court for immediate appearance Thursday, April 22. These cases were returned to June 21, 2021. Pending judgment, they are subject to strict judicial control“, Indicates the Lille prosecutor’s office to Figaro.
Concerning the minors arrested, four were brought before the children’s judge and placed under judicial supervision, one was summoned by a judicial police officer and was indicted by the children’s judge and two are seen to offer an alternative measure of penal reparation. Nine files were closed due to lack of evidence. Finally, two police custody continued at the end of the week, one of which was for a minor.
* The first name has been changed.