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Sunday, April 15, 2007 5:18:07 AM
Complete article: 

PARIS BLUES A Cop Killing at the Carnival
PJM Seattle
April 14, 2007 6:51 PM

How a policeman killed at Foire du Trône in France threatens to tilt the larger carnival known as the French Presidential Election
by PJM Paris editor Nidra Poller

The French presidential campaign had not yet digested the March 27th Gare du Nord riots when a dramatic new clash between rioters and the police has hit the news. This time the incident occurred at the Foire du Trône, an amusement park in the 12th arrondissement of Paris. There was not one turnstile jumper but a whole bunch of cheaters. And a 31 year-old policeman is dead.
Employees of the Maxximum Ferris wheel got in a fight with a group of—well, at this stage of the investigation they are still “youths”—let’s say a bunch of hoodlums massed on the access ramp waiting to jump on for a free ride. Two policemen intervened.
Patrolman Reynald Caron somehow landed in the path of the turning wheel and was slammed with such force it nearly beheaded him. His colleague almost passed out at the sight. The “youths” scattered.
Initially the media reported the death as accidental. Now two witnesses—Silvio Bolinio, 40 years old and Christian Marcel, 43—have come forward to testify. They say the youths deliberately pushed one of the policemen into the path of the Ferris wheel, he stumbled, the gondola hit him and sent him flying. The police are investigating.
For three days the chief Prosecutor of Paris, Jean-Claude Marin, was visibly twisting and squirming as he tried to deny the obvious: Someone had pushed the policeman into the path of the Ferris wheel. And the policeman was dead. No, no, it was an accident. A simple Brownian effect of a milling crowd. No intrepid reporter (I was out of town) thought to visit the fairgrounds and describe the scene of the crime…or accident. But common sense would suggest that there had to be a barrier between the access ramp and the wheel. How could a random crowd surge project a policeman over the barrier and into the path of the deadly wheel?
The incident that triggered the police intervention was consistently described as a brawl between the “forains” and the “youths.” “Forains” are the people who run these amusement parks, which grew out of traditional country fairs. Forains have a reputation for toughness and brawling but in this case the “forains” were apparently trying to keep a bunch of cheaters from getting a free ride, and the cheaters turned on them and started fighting. Perhaps they fought back. That still doesn’t make it a brawl. There were many complaints about unruly young men misbehaving on the fair grounds. No matter how many policemen were on duty, it never seemed to be enough.
The two eyewitnesses, S. Bolinio and C. Marcel, courageously showed their faces on television, and described how the patrolman was deliberately hit and shoved into the path of the Ferris wheel.
Several young men, described as key witnesses, were brought in for questioning. The news broke this evening—one of them, a 15 year-old, admits he pushed the policeman. He is now charged with involuntary manslaughter. Other details are leaking out.
The youths in question belong to a gang of “blacks” (“black” is the politically correct French word for “noirs.”) from la Cité des Pyramides — a tough housing project in Evry in the southern suburbs of Paris. The culprit is a big husky kid, with a long record of violence, particularly against men in uniform. His friends say that when he blows a fuse, nothing can stop him. It seems that when he got back from the Fair that evening he bragged to friends and family about hitting and shoving the patrolman. A buddy of his also admits to hitting the cop, but says he didn’t shove him.
Le Procureur had to abandon the hypothesis of ‘Accidental death by Ferris wheel,’ but managed to find a new understatement: the young man undoubtedly pushed the policeman ‘so as to avoid arrest.’
If that’s the case, he seriously miscalculated. He’s looking at the possibility of twenty years in prison. But who knows what evil lurks in the heart of a “youth”? Witnesses described the scene as something out of a horror movie. Reynald Caron was so badly mutilated that his widow was not allowed to see the body. Prime time news spared about 40 seconds of cold attention to the funeral.
Why the low key treatment? If a policeman had accidentally pushed a “youth” into the path of a Ferris wheel or a roller coaster it could have set off weeks of mayhem. Why the unanimously cool attitude to a truly horrifying story? And what does it have to do with the presidential campaign?

Sunday, April 15, 2007 8:08:41 AM
I wonder if Jessie Jackson will go there!! He seems to show up anytime something like that happens.. He always sticks his nose where it don't belong...
<h5>"If you cant run with the BIG dogs stay on the porch"</h5>

Sunday, April 15, 2007 9:22:10 AM
Maxximum is Capriolo.
  •  flamo
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Sunday, April 15, 2007 11:51:06 AM
Look what happens here with just an accident. Ride operator's fault, he should have seen it coming and stopped the ride. I can assure you that's who it would have been reported.
I'm there, Old, Tired, Broke and Henpecked