This is an absolute tragedy, but also a scandal that splatters an elite unit of the police well known in Paris. On Monday, two police officers from the River Brigade, those who usually dive to save the drowned in the Seine, were indicted for manslaughter.
This indictment follows the judicial investigation opened February 23 for manslaughter, a month and a half after the facts. At the same time, the investigation was entrusted to the IGPN, the police force of the police.
A sequence of faults
On January 5, 2018, during a training, their young colleague Amandine, 27, had disappeared in the flooded Seine, between the Petit-Pont and the Saint-Michel bridge. The police officer's body was rescued not far away but more than three months later, on April 29th. His body, very damaged, had been transported to the IML (Forensic Institute) for an autopsy.
The investigation showed that it was a series of faults of two police officers who accompanied him that caused his death. The exercise took place in the raging and icy waters of the Seine in full flood, just after the passage of storm Eleanor, in January, near Notre-Dame.
An error of appreciation
The novice diver of this elite unit, very voluntary, bottle on the back, equipped with its lead belt and a low-end equipment, had sunk. The rope that connected her to the boat had been detached from the boat by the skipper as a result of what was described as an "error of appreciation". A young colleague, a novice too, had been sent to rescue her without her clothes and especially without her bottle, on the orders of her instructor. But finding himself in trouble, he had to turn back. As for the captain, he was the nose on his mobile phone.
Very quickly, the union Unsa police which adhered to the official had denounced dysfunctions. And implicated the Paris police prefecture which had refused the support of the elite unit of Raid to locate more quickly the body of Amandine.
Amandine's parents had lodged a complaint with a civil suit. Their daughter had just joined the fluvial brigade and had only been diving for three weeks.
This Monday, this indictment which has revealed the decay of this unit "breathing testosterone" – composed mainly of men, 94 for 9 women -, according to a policewoman, could be the fatal blow … Since the death of Amandine, the "Fluv", once one of the jewels of the Parisian police, sees the transfer requests succeed one another.