Death of Steve Maia Caniço in Nantes: a commissioner referred to the criminal court

The referral of a police commissioner to the criminal court for “manslaughter” – the death of Steve Maia Caniço in 2019 in Nantes after a controversial police intervention during the Fête de la Musique – was ordered on Monday, announced Tuesday December 19, the Rennes public prosecutor's office

Death of Steve Maia Caniço in Nantes: a commissioner referred to the criminal court

The referral of a police commissioner to the criminal court for “manslaughter” – the death of Steve Maia Caniço in 2019 in Nantes after a controversial police intervention during the Fête de la Musique – was ordered on Monday, announced Tuesday December 19, the Rennes public prosecutor's office.

Commissioner Grégoire Chassaing is referred "to the criminal court for the charge of involuntary homicide committed in Nantes on June 21 and 22, 2019 to the detriment of Steve Maia Caniço", specifies in a press release the public prosecutor of Rennes, Philippe Astruc, in adding that a dismissal of charges was ordered for sub-prefect Johann Mougenot and the others implicated in this case.

Steve Maia Caniço, a 24-year-old after-school entertainer, disappeared after a police operation intended to stop an electro evening in Nantes, on the banks of the Loire, on the night of June 21 to 22, 2019. Analysis of Steve's phone records made it possible to place his fall in the Loire at “4:33:14 a.m., i.e. at the time of the police intervention and after the first use of tear gas grenades which took place at 4:31 a.m.”, recalls the prosecutor.

Dismissal for the former prefect

Police Commissioner Grégoire Chassaing, who directed the operation, “implemented advance and arrest operations on the quay, without immediately prohibiting the significant use of weapons which was taking place, even though the investigations made it possible to demonstrate that other solutions were possible, in particular that of a withdrawal,” according to the press release.

“This choice to immediately take this situation into account by inappropriate means in view of the situation of the premises appears to constitute a clear fault having contributed to the fall in the Loire and the death of Steve Maia Caniço,” he continues.

“No serious fault could be noted” against sub-prefect Johann Mougenot, then chief of staff of the prefect of Loire-Atlantique, who “had chaired the preparatory meetings” for the Fête de la Musique system in 2019. His referral to court was requested by the public prosecutor in November 2022.

A dismissal of the case is also ordered for other people placed under the status of assisted witness, including the former prefect of Loire-Atlantique Claude d'Harcourt.