Paris, France – A brand new investigation into the demise of an 80-year-old Algerian lady after she was hit by a tear gasoline canister throughout a “yellow vest” demonstration suggests police immediately fired at her window, countering an preliminary report that had cleared officers of any wrongdoing.
On December 1, 2018, Zineb Redouane was reportedly closing her house shutters when she was hit with the tear gasoline canister, thrown by a policeman into her fourth-floor house.
A day later, she died from her accidents in hospital.
The investigation, performed by the NGO Disclose, used reconstructions from the University of London-based Forensic Architecture and an official report from French ballistics consultants to recreate a 3D mannequin of the scene.
According to the report, the tear gasoline canister would have been travelling at greater than 97kmph (60 miles/h) when it hit Redouane.
“You can tell that this is a very justified feeling that she was targeted,” Martyna Marciniak, a researcher with Forensic Architecture who labored on the report, instructed Al Jazeera.
Marciniak stopped in need of confirming that suspicion, however mentioned there was a restricted quantity of official proof offered by the French authorities.
The 73-page ballistics report, revealed in May, concluded the police officer that threw the tear gasoline canister didn’t see Redouane when he fired it, stating he “hit the victim in a completely accidental manner”, and fired at an angle throughout the authorized restrict of 30 to 45 levels.
“We were shocked about the limitation of the statement … there was no mention of any other circumstances that pointed to this shot being irresponsible, dangerous, and unlawful,” Marciniak mentioned.
According to the counter-investigation, even when the hearth was throughout the authorized restrict, “the presence of several buildings directly in front of the shooting officer should, at the very least, have constituted a red alert”.
A Lyon court docket, which is now in command of the case, has but to rule on any findings from the ballistics report.
Zineb Redouane along with her grandchildren [Courtesy of Milfet Redouane]Ex-interior minister accused of hiding proof
The counter-investigation got here as Redouane’s daughter, Milfed, has filed a authorized criticism towards the then-Interior Minister Christophe Castaner, for “concealing evidence”.
Yassine Bouzrou, the household’s lawyer, instructed Al Jazeera: “The lies of Castaner have had a tremendous influence on the judiciary who refuse to pursue the police officer who killed Madame Redouane.”
In the months following the incident, Castaner repeatedly claimed Redouane’s demise was as a consequence of a cardiac arrest that had nothing to do with the police.
“I will not let it be said that the police killed Zineb Redouane, because that is false,” Castaner instructed French radio station France Inter in March 2019.
In a latest defence, Castaner mentioned he was merely referring to an post-mortem report ordered by the Marseille public prosecutor Xavier Tarabeaux, which mentioned she had been “victim of a cardiac arrest on the operating table”.
A later second post-mortem carried out in Algiers concluded: “[Facial] trauma is directly responsible for her death”, thereby linking the trigger again to the police.
A separate preliminary investigation carried out by the Inspection Generale de la Police Nationale (IGPN), France’s official police watchdog, additionally cleared the police of any wrongdoing.
In an interview with Mediapart final 12 months, Milfet Redouane mentioned she was on the cellphone along with her mom when she was hit with the tear gasoline canister.
“Then the phone dropped,” she instructed Mediapart. “I heard her scream … then she picked up the phone and said, ‘He targeted me, the police targeted me! I made eye contact with two policemen – one fired at me. Then they got in their car and left.”
Milfet mentioned maybe the police thought her mom was filming them once they threw the grenade.
Bouzrou, in the meantime, mentioned he was shocked that prosecutors weren’t doing extra to carry any officers accountable within the case.
“I’ve never seen an investigation like this,” he instructed Al Jazeera, including he couldn’t assist however “wonder if the case would be different if the victim wasn’t an 80-year-old Algerian woman.”