A judge in the Paris suburb of Bobigny is charging two police officers in connection with the 2005 electrocutions of two teens whose deaths provoked three weeks of rioting throughout France, judicial officials said Thursday.
The two officers are to be charged with “non-assistance to people in danger,” the officials said. The judge was to formally charge the police officers in his final report to the parties in the case later Thursday, they said, on customary condition of anonymity.
Zyed Benna, 17, and Bouna Traore, 15, were killed on Oct. 27, 2005 after they hid from police in a power substation in the Paris suburb of Clichy-sous-Bois.
An internal police review of the electrocutions, released in December, faulted police officers for their handling of the case. The report confirmed the officers had been chasing the teens before they were killed, which the Interior Ministry and police initially had denied.
The report said officers should immediately have notified French energy company EDF that the youths were hiding in the power station.
The nationwide riots in fall 2005 raged through housing projects in troubled neighborhoods with large minority populations. Although they stemmed from the teens’ deaths, they were fueled by deeper problems of discrimination, unemployment and a sense of alienation from French society.
Anger has continued to simmer, and attackers have ambushed police several times in recent months and torched public buses.