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Trial of Christophe Dettinger: "It is obvious that he is wrong but we are here to understand"

The man with the tired face and gray complexion prisoner would have preferred to melt among the anonymous who parade each day to immediate appearances, being a face in the flow of high speed, a destiny a little dented among others. Except that, for "file number 2", the hourglass ginned for more than seven hours, the public squeezed en masse into the courtroom and nothing less than three lawyers – Mes Laurence Léger, Hugues Vigier and Henri Leclerc – put on their black dress. Christophe Dettinger, 37, has to deal with this undesired notoriety: he has become in the eyes of the media "The boxer" or "The former boxer '. Qualifier which corresponds as much to his former professional activity, since he was champion of France 2007 and 2008 of light-heavy, than to the facts for which he appears: "Deliberate violence in meetings of a person holding public authority". "I do not want to be told that I am a cop-monger, an extreme. I just made a big mistake that I will regret my whole life, says the defendant, wearing a white shirt and a gray vest. "It is obvious that he is wrong but we are here to understand", underlines Me Henri Leclerc.


Understand why this city clerk, married with three children, with a clean criminal record, beat two gendarmes during a demonstration of yellow vests. Understand why whoever says to himself "non violent", who "Practice boxing as an art," suddenly left "Invade with anger". The court thus embarked on a quasi-surgical analysis of the videos of the scene (become viral on the Internet) as well as sequences immortalized by CCTV cameras. Slow motion, fixed shots, acceleration. In an atmosphere often cacophonous, everyone strives to seek "If the gentleman's leg was towards the mouth of Madame," if "The angle was right," if the "Baton was visible", if the yellow vests were 'Pushed' or "Could turn around". "My client had a formula that sums up the case well:" I wanted to prevent an injustice and I committed another ", intervenes Me Henri Leclerc. This will be the split line of this file. On one side of the room, we want to show that this man without a hitch went astray in a moment of anger, that he was hugged by a deep feeling of revolt. On the other, the facts are stripped of all grandeur of soul to contemplate them in their cruel nakedness. "These are repeated shots, two repeated scenes," he "Deliberately and savagely attacked mobile gendarmes on mission", says the prosecutor. Before applying for a sentence of three years imprisonment, including one year suspended and put to the test.


Let's return to January 5, 2018. It is 2:49 pm when a cohort of yellow vests rushes on the bridge Léopold-Sédar-Senghor, near the National Assembly in Paris. Halfway through, the protesters find themselves facing the gendarmes who block their way. Christophe Dettinger is on the front line, accompanied by his wife and a friend. In an agitated voice, he says that he receives tear gas: "When I look up, I see blows distributed in yellow vests. Bam bam bam. There is a lady on the floor, uA policeman kicks him and has the baton thrown up. That's where I come in, I defend that person, it's my state of mind when I see vulnerable people getting hit. I do not look at the uniform, I look at the man who did that. " Indeed, the slow motion of the video shows that he grabs the policeman near a protester dressed in red and lying on the ground but without distinguishing whether or not the latter is hitting her.

Read alsoYellow vests: in Paris, a boxer in the viewfinder

Then we see Christophe Dettinger, black cap screwed on the skull, kicking multiple of the military curled up on the ground (it will be prescribing fifteen days of temporary interruption of work). "The famous lady in red", as the president calls it, confirms at the bar: "I found myself right in front of a mobile policeman. He started beating me with his baton. His colleague could not stop him. Mr. Dettinger took this man and managed to extract it. " "He could have taken the gendarme, just tell him," What are you doing? " But it's not at all that, there are eight shots in eight seconds. And then he goes away, he does not even have a look for the lady ", denounces Me Thibault de Montbrial, the civil party lawyer who considers the justification of the accused late, even opportunistic.

Discrete silhouette in uniform, back straight and kepi between hands, Peter, 27, gets up to tell what the court calls "The second sequence" occurred a few seconds later. That day, he intervened on the lower part of the bridge and found himself face Christophe Dettinger who shot him a series of punches in the face (two days of ITT). "I was very stoned, I had trouble sleeping with the media impact, says he. My friend is still off work, he is undergoing rehabilitation. " He describes this scene of violence during which he tried to protect himself with his shield: "Mr. Dettinger is the first one I hit, before I only used the carbonated spray." This contradicts the words of the defendant who ensured that he again won because he had seen gendarmes "Bludgeon yellow vests".

Balanced sentence

"Everything in the file says he's a good man. Should he stay in prison? You will decide the pain but I consider that this man must go out and that he must leave now to find his ", will plead Me Hugues Vigier. When the president asked him how he envisioned"after", Christophe Dettinger did not say anything else: "I only have one wish to go home. I recognize all the facts. Since I'm a kid I try to be a good brother, a good friend, a good collaborator at work, a good husband. Of course I have flaws […] I'm terribly angry. " After one hour of deliberation, the court pronounces a more lenient sentence than the requisitions, a balanced sentence that seems to have appeased the two parties: one year in prison, immediately convertible into semi-liberty and eighteen months of stay with release. the test. In other words, Christophe Dettinger is confiscated his nights – that he will spend in prison – but will be free of his days. He will be able to continue working. "It's going to be fast", «We love you Christophe»shouts his family as he disappears from the courtroom.

Julie Brafman



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