“ M his hands don’t hurt, they heal. When I saw caregivers being gassed, I had this protective reaction. “ For a day of trial, Farida C. immersed herself in the unfolding of the demonstration on June 16. That day, at least 18,000 people marched in Paris for the public hospital. At the end of the afternoon, Farida C. and the other caregivers are greeted on the Esplanade des Invalides by tear gas and police grenades. In a white coat and angry, the nurse is seen throwing bits of bitumen and addressing fingers of honor in the direction of the CRS. She is then violently arrested, grabbed by the hair and manhandled, despite her cries calling for Ventolin to relieve an asthma attack. The two moments are filmed and the controversy is growing. In the media, an image war is taking place. It contrasts the question of police violence with that of the breakage in demonstration. Humanity in fact then his one, defend “The nurse brutalized for the example” and wonders what can push a caregiver to rebel in this way.
The caregiver faces three years in prison
At the helm of the 29th chamber of the Paris Criminal Court, Farida C. swapped her white blouse for a black leather jacket. She answers the President’s questions in a timid voice, but who knows where she is going. The courtroom is packed with supporters and journalists. The 51-year-old caregiver knows the political content of the trial in this case. Despite its repercussions, the low gravity of the facts did not require the presence of three judges as usual. The 1.55 m nurse, in geriatric service in a hospital in Val-de-Marne, risks three years in prison. She is accused of acts of violence and insults by fingers of honor that she does not dispute, but also a rebellion and insults pronounced against the police.
Commissioner Damien V., civil party in this case, seeks compensation and testifies: “I saw madam, shouting insults like ‘dirty shit cops’, ‘Macron whores’. “ According to his account, the end of the demonstration was experienced as a “Incredible violence” police side. It evokes the “Nebula” of “Bad protesters” and the ” around twenty “ wounded in the ranks of his unit. Then he recounts the arrest of Farida, under tension, while the police wiped projectiles. “She would surely have received it if we had not protected her”, he advances. Reactions in the room: four days of temporary incapacity for work were prescribed to the nurse. Surely that wouldn’t have been the case if she hadn’t been mistreated by the police.
The projection of the images quickly refutes the police version. One of them is taken from Farida C.’s phone, triggered by mistake in her pocket. We hear detonations, noises from the crowd, then the nurse’s cry of surprise when she is surrounded by the CRS. There followed the long complaints during which she claimed her treatment for asthma. A right that will only be granted to her once she arrives at the police station, where she will be handcuffed to a metal bench for long hours. The prosecutor admits it herself, no insult addressed to the police officers is heard.
When it is Farida C.’s turn to deliver her version of the facts, the nurse takes the opportunity to explain what prompted her to commit the violent act that justice accuses her of. “For me, they were not police officers but state obstacles to our demands. This gesture overtook me. We were three months away from the Covid, I was exhausted ”, she recalls. At the height of the epidemic, its department lost 20 of its patients. “I closed covers from March until summer”, she continues, before pointing the finger at those responsible for the debacle in the hospitals in the spring. “The hospital has been wasting away for more than twenty years. When I can’t comfort my patients, I fail. It is this frustration that drives a 51-year-old caregiver to throw stones at the police! It is the State that gives us the fingers of honor. “ She unfolds her story spontaneously for a few minutes, all at once, with a touch of emotion in her voice.
His lawyer wants “not to depoliticize this affair”
The pleadings of his lawyer are of the same tenor. Arié Alimi, a criminal lawyer used to supporting victims of police violence, wishes to “Do not depoliticize this affair”. He begins by describing the situation of the public hospital and its caregivers. Burnouts, post-traumatic stress syndrome and exhaustion amplified by the Covid crisis. For him, the demonstration of June 16 is the place where “A criminal state has sent its officials against each other” and who, for “Save your disastrous image” damaged by police violence, “Criminalize the victim” What is Farida C. However symbolic the actions may be, the president reminded us a little earlier, “These are offenses punishable by law”. The prosecution requires a two-month suspended prison sentence. Under advisement, the court’s decision will be rendered on May 3. Meanwhile, Farida C. and her lawyer have no news of her complaint filed in June for the disproportionate use of force.