Adama Traoré, 24, black man of Malian-French descent, died in police custody on 19 July 2016, in Beaumont-sur-Oise, in the suburbs of northern Paris. Based on statements from different witnesses, CCTV footage, and other elements of the ongoing official investigation, Le Monde and Forensic Architecture produced a detailed reconstruction of the events leading up to Traore’s death.
The main challenge in this investigation was the absence of any material evidence around the circumstances of Traoré’s arrest inside the apartment where he was apprehended. The only source of information available were the statements by the three police officers that carried out the arrest. Each officer delivered three different statements between 2016 and 2018. Between these statements, a single version of the events fails to emerge.
For this reason, we produced multiple digital reconstructions of key moments, visualising the distinct and at times contradictory accounts given by each officer.