The IGPN was seized after a controversial police operation in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), on the evening of the Music Festival, during which a 24-year-old man disappeared.
Three days after the Fête de la musique, the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN) was seized after a controversial police operation in Nantes (Loire-Atlantique), where 14 people fell in the Loire during the night while a man is still missing.
A call for witnesses was broadcast on Tuesday 24th June 2019 evening.
A “potentially dangerous area”
Traditionally, at each Music Festival, several scenes are set up on the banks of the Loire near the “Hangar à Bananes” site on the island of Nantes.
The association Free Form, which intervenes at the national level with the young organizers of local festive gatherings, specifies that thirteen scenes were installed at this place, with the tacit authorization to play up to 4am.
Claude d’Harcourt, the prefect of Loire-Atlantique explained that the police had intervened a first time at 4 am and the music had been cut. “But the music was reignited”, hence the intervention of law enforcement, he said.
Samuel Raymond, the coordinator of Free Form, explains that around 4 o’clock the situation had escalated between policemen and participants in the festival about cutting or not the music. Then, “there was an exchange of blows and we do not know who is behind the start of the scuffle”. In a statement, this association also evokes the use of LBD .
And point the finger at the chosen site, a “potentially dangerous area because located on the banks of the Loire.” A site whose dangerousness is known, why “there was a preventive device that had been set up with the SDIS and the SNSM to possibly recover people who would have fallen into the water,” said Monday the prefecture of Loire -Atlantic to AFP.
A 24-year-old witness, who prefers to remain anonymous, told AFP:
“We were charged, there was tear gas , everyone was encircled on the platform. There was a panic. I think people have not seen anything and have fallen (to the water) without doing it on purpose.”
FÊTE DE LA MUSIQUE : DES IMAGES DES VIOLENCES
Des milliers de nantais et de nantaises ont vécu des violences inacceptables le soir de la fête de la musique à Nantes. Coups, arrestations, gaz, et chutes dans la Loire. Quelques images captées par un lecteur. pic.twitter.com/R6H4WmDNAb
— Nantes Révoltée (@Nantes_Revoltee) 23 June 2019
Steve’s profile relayed on social networks
In conditions that remain to be determined, “14 people were rescued during the night, not necessarily in connection with the intervention” of the police , said the prefecture. When asked about the number of people who fell in the river as a result of the police intervention, the prefecture indicated that it would be “at the administrative inquiry to determine it”.
In addition, five policemen were injured by projectile jets, glass bottles and stones, according to the same source.
Monday, we learned from the police that the day before, the mother of a 24-year-old, who participated in this electro party, “came to make a declaration of ominous disappearance.” A call for witnesses was launched in the early evening on Monday relayed on Twitter, by the National Police to help find Steve M.-C.
[#AppelàTémoins] Steve MAIA CANICO est porté disparu depuis le 22 juin vers 4h00 Quai Wilson à #Nantes.
Si vous avez des informations, contactez les enquêteurs.
Merci pour vos partages. pic.twitter.com/Qrj1a9IkWo
— Police Nationale 44 (@PoliceNat44) 24 June 2019
In addition to the administrative investigation entrusted to the IGPN, a research investigation for a disturbing disappearance was opened, conducted by the parquet of Nantes.
If the association Free form considers that there was “clearly a disproportion between the nuisance and the consequences of the intervention of the police,” the prefect of Loire-Atlantique said that “the police intervene always proportionately “.
“But faced with drunken individuals, who have probably taken drugs, it is difficult to intervene rationally. And the individuals themselves were immovable, “he told the radio.
“Using tear gas when you are on a platform without a railing five meters high, overlooking a river that is known to be dangerous, and with an audience that is not necessarily familiar with the topology of the site is quite clearly risky”, retorts the association Free Form.