Steve Maïa Caniço: trial of Commissioner Chassaing, without INDEX’s expert report

Today marks the opening of the trial of Police Commissioner Chassaing, tried for “involuntary manslaughter” concerning his role in the death of Steve Maïa Caniço on June 21, 2019 in Nantes. But the expert report produced by INDEX will neither be shown nor discussed.

Published on 10.06.2024

Steve Maïa Caniço died on June 22, 2019 in Nantes. He drowned in the Loire after falling into the water, around 4:30 a.m., while a police operation was underway to evacuate participants in a rave party organized on Quai Wilson, as part of the Music Festival 2019.

In November 2021, INDEX was mandated by the investigating judge in charge of the case to “produce a digital reconstruction video” of the incident from 130+ videos / 5 hours of images filmed by participants in the rave party at the time of the incident. In February 2022, we submitted our final expert report to the Rennes judicial court – in the form of a 58-minute video.

Following an appeal for nullity filed by three of those indicted, including Mr. Chassaing, the Rennes investigating chamber dismisses our expert report for procedural defects on 28 october 2022.

Libération is publishing an article today which discusses the reasons for the cancellation of our expertise :

The video by Index, almost an hour long […], was however excluded from the legal proceedings, because the defense requested and obtained its cancellation. Lawyer Louis Cailliez, who assists Commissioner Grégoire Chassaing, believed in particular that the NGO was too engaged, in that it has the habit of producing videos of reconstructions of police violence, working with civil parties or the media (including Liberation). But the investigating chamber, in a decision of 28 october 2022, retained a completely different motive, purely formal, also raised by the lawyer. The magistrate did not warn the parties that he was appointing this association to carry out an expertise, and he did not sufficiently justify his decision not to do so. Judicially, Index’s expertise does not exist: it is not mentioned anywhere in the referral order to the court of Commissioner Chassaing, and cannot be raised during his trial. Only raw images will be.

Since then, INDEX has been excluded from the procedure – despite the in-depth work we have done to contribute to the manifestation of the truth. During the trial of Commissioner Chassaing which is being held this week, there will be no mention of our expertise.

Having had access to this expertise on its own, the media Disclose decided to publish it in its entirety in April 2022:

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