Echirolles’ s killings: “No to violence”

Tribute to Sofiane and Kevin, two young men killed Friday Sept. 28. Photo courtesy of flickr.com/bastiend

Today was a sad day in Grenoble. A somber atmosphere surrounded the silent march of solidarity that was the city’s way of paying tribute to Sofiane and Kevin, two young men killed on Friday September 28th at night in La Villeneuve, a sensitive area in Grenoble suburbs.

This murder was a true lynching. Over the course of two encounters, approximately fifteen people attacked Kevin and Sofiane with knives, pick handles, sticks, and hammers. The cause of such a flood of violence is probably a settling of scores. Earlier Friday afternoon, Kevin defended his little brother against people who were hitting and bullying him with tear gas.

Twelve people have been arrested so far, but there are still three people missing, and, as their criminal records show, they are among the most violent. All the people arrested are between 18 and 21 years old and unemployed, except for the two members of the military who supposedly took part in the lynching. Police and justice services have identified all the suspects.

Following this act of violence, both President François Hollande and Minister of Interior Manuel Valls went to Echirolles to honour these two 21 years old men. They promised to grant more security to the city, and Valls announced the creation of a priority security zone in La Villeneuve, so as to fight the violence in this area. Both of them asserted that those who committed this crime would be judged and punished by law.

The march, made up of around 10,000 people, aimed at honoring the two victims but also to draw our attention to it the issue it represents. The motto was “No to violence” with the hope that Kevin and Sofiane did not die in vain and that this event will never occur either in La Villeneuve or anywhere else in France.

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