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One year after the riots in Villiers-le-Bel

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2008-11-25

One year after the traffic accident that cost the lives of two teenagers when their motorbike collided with a police car and the widespread protests that followed in Villiers-le-Bel, the inquiries launched into the incident are still ongoing.

On November 25, 2007, two teenagers were killed when their motorbike collided with a police car Villiers-le-Bel, a suburb of Paris. The deaths of Moshin Cehhouli, 15, and Lakami Samoura, 16, sparked two days of violence between young people and police forces. 

 

In the unrest that followed, 100 police officers were injured and several shops, a school and a library were destroyed.

 

Six inquiries have been launched into the incident but to date none have been concluded.

 

In June, the families of the deceased were notified that an inquiry had confirmed that the police car involved was traveling without police lights or siren at 64 kilometres per hour (kph), and not the 40-50 kph originally estimated.

 

The investigation also confirmed that the victims were traveling at 66 kph and not wearing crash helmets.

 

"The police car, which was traveling without warning lights or signal and above the legal speed limit, could have posed a danger to anyone", said Jean-Pierre Mignard, the lawyer for the victims' families.

 

Mignard demanded the new investigations into the speed at which the police car was traveling and the potential visibility of their vehicle. He has also criticized the slow progress of the investigations.

 

In the year since the incident, the state has contributed 6.4 million euros to reconstructing a school and a library that were damaged in the unrest. The destoyed Louis-Jouvet library has since been replaced by a new one, the Aimé-Césaire, which opened in September.

 

Date created : 2008-11-25

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