Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss police officers cleared again of killing Nigerian man

Protesters
Protesters were unhappy with the court's verdict. Keystone / Valentin Flauraud

Six Lausanne police officers have again been cleared of negligent homicide and abuse of office in the case of a Nigerian man who died during an arrest in 2018. The Vaud Cantonal Court rejected an appeal against the original not guilty verdict last year.

Do you want to read our weekly top stories? Subscribe here.

According to the court, the emergency services reacted proportionately.

The 39-year-old Nigerian Mike Ben Peter had resisted a drug check in Lausanne and died whilst being arrested by the six accused police officers. After an acquittal in the first instance in June 2023 and a three-day, sensational appeal, it was up to the three judges of the Court of Appeal to decide whether the six officers were guilty of negligent homicide.

The judges also had to rule on abuse of office, which had been added as a charge in the second instance. They acquitted the police officers on both counts.

The victim’s family lawyer and critical observers have criticised the public prosecutor’s office for failing to investigate the serious allegations of police violence in detail.

The indictment was only six pages long and did not describe the incidents very precisely. It was therefore not clear which of the six police officers was accused of what.

In the second instance ruling, judges referred in particular to the forensic medical reports. These had determined that it was impossible to say with certainty that Mike Ben Peter had died as a result of the police intervention and because he had been held in a prone position.

The appeal court also found that the police had not “culpably” breached their duty of care.

Translated from German by DeepL/mga

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI swissinfo.ch we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles.

If you want to know more about how we work, have a look here, if you want to learn more about how we use technology, click here, and if you have feedback on this news story please write to english@swissinfo.ch

External Content
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished… We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.
Daily news

Get the most important news from Switzerland in your inbox.

Daily

The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.

Popular Stories

Most Discussed

News

Price-adjusted construction expenditure fell slightly in 2023

More

Swiss construction sector had mixed year in 2023

This content was published on While construction expenditure rose by 0.3% last year in nominal terms, the price-adjusted situation shows a 2.5% drop, the Federal Statistical Office writes.

Read more: Swiss construction sector had mixed year in 2023

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI swissinfo.ch certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at english@swissinfo.ch.

SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI swissinfo.ch - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR