Fresh protests erupt in France over alleged police brutality leading to arrests
Paris, Feb 16 : Two new protests in France against alleged police brutality and impunity for law enforcement officials resulted in disturbances and dozens of arrests, the French media has reported.
Both demonstrations on Wednesday — one in Paris and the other in Rouen — were sparked after two incidents one in February and the other in 2016, came to light, Efe news reported.
One incident relates to the arrest on February 2, when a 22-year-old black man identified as Theo complained of sustaining an anal tear after being sodomised with a police truncheon.
In the other in 2016, a black man, Adama Traore, died of asphyxiation while in police custody.
Both individuals were residents of low-income areas on Paris’ outskirts, known as “banlieues”.
Some 400 people took part in the demonstration here, which was held without authorisation in Barbes and devolved into clashes between police and demonstrators.
Some material damage was reported, although authorities have not said if there were any arrests or injuries in that protest.
In Rouen, French media reported that 21 people were arrested and two were slightly injured in clashes between police and protesters.
Daily protests against police brutality were held in Paris and other cities since the Theo case became public, leading to violent incidents and hundreds of arrests.
The unrest, which comes less than 10 weeks before France’s presidential election, is being compared to the 2005 riots.
In 2005, in Paris and other cities, youth from neighbourhoods with large North African and Arab populations clashed with police and set dozens of cars and buildings on fire.