Did the woman, seriously injured on Tuesday October 31 by the police in Paris, make threatening remarks under the influence of psychiatric disorders? And did the two officials, who fired eight times, act proportionately to neutralize it? These questions will have to be answered through judicial and administrative investigations.
“The person was hit twice in the abdomen. She was operated on and is still in intensive care,” said the Paris prosecutor’s office on Tuesday evening, which opened two investigations. The first was entrusted to the Paris judicial police while the second will be conducted by the General Inspectorate of the National Police (IGPN), automatically seized when officials use their weapons.
“You’re all going to be there.”
Around 7:20 a.m., two RER passengers alerted the SNCF to the worrying behavior of a woman wearing a full veil. “She made a certain number of quite threatening remarks” and “talked about committing an attack,” said Laurent Nuñez, the Paris police prefect, on Tuesday. According to these witnesses, quoted by the latter, she would have said: “You will all pass there, Allah Akbar, boom”.
Police officers from the anti-crime brigade (BAC) intervened half an hour later at the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand station, in the south of Paris. At their request, the woman sat on the RER platform while the station was evacuated. At one point, she stood up and did not comply with the police’s demands that she not move and make her hands visible.
“She wore a very covering abaya type outfit which did not allow colleagues to know if she was armed or if she had an explosive belt. Feeling threatened, they had to use their weapons,” said Eric Henry, spokesperson for the Alliance union. In the end, it turned out that the woman was not carrying any explosives or weapons. By examining their files, the police also found that she had already been arrested in Val-de-Marne in 2021 for having damaged a scooter with a screwdriver. She then threatened the soldiers of Operation Sentinel with this tool.
“She was placed in police custody then, obviously suffering from psychiatric disorders, she was interned,” said Laurent Nuñez. “She subsequently presented herself at the police station and explained that she was in a psychotic state at the time of the events,” said the prosecution, adding that the search of her home did not, at this stage, result. revealed elements leading to fears of radicalization on his part. “She is also known for schizophrenia-type disorders, for which she is undergoing treatment,” said the prosecution.
From a police source, we note an evolution compared to the facts of 2021. “This time, she made comments of an openly terrorist nature,” we indicate. At this stage, however, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office (Pnat) has not taken up the matter. Because for the moment, it is rather the possibility of psychiatric disorders which is being used to explain the serious threats made by this woman.
A track also favored in Reims where, on October 23, a forty-year-old shouted “Allah Akbar” while holding a knife in the forecourt of the Reims police station (Marne). Placed in police custody, he was, in view of his condition, hospitalized under duress in a psychiatric unit.
“These patients are like sponges”
These cases do not surprise psychiatrists who note that current events can have an influence on the delusional manifestations of certain patients. “Paranoid delusions in schizophrenic patients sometimes feed on what is part of their daily life. These patients are like sponges and he can see a phenomenon of porosity with the concerns of the society that surround them. At one time, in certain very religious societies, we saw a lot of mystical delusions. Today, it is not impossible that the news, largely focused on terrorism, could inspire the delusions of certain patients,” indicates Professor Jean-Louis Senon, psychiatrist from the Faculty of Medicine of Poitiers.
An observation shared by Doctor Daniel Zagury, psychiatrist and legal expert. “We are seeing more and more mentally ill people who seize the spirit of the times and this kind of atmospheric jihadism described by certain specialists as a matrix to express delusions, suffering, a will to exist or to give meaning to this suffering,” he emphasizes while remaining cautious about the intervention of the police, who fired eight times at a potentially sick person. “Honestly, in an emergency, when faced with a person who makes threats of this type, it is very difficult to sort things out and distinguish whether the person in front of you is just a sick person in pain or if the The danger is real,” emphasizes Dr. Zagury.