Greater than 2,000 folks marched Saturday in Bobigny, a suburban city practically six miles (9.2 kilometers) northeast of the French capital. They chanted and carried indicators demanding justice for a 22-year-old man who says he was sodomized by a police officer’s baton.
The demonstrations turned violent when a number of hundred protesters broke away from the march and commenced rioting, police stated. They smashed home windows, set vehicles and trash cans on fireplace and attacked legislation enforcement personnel, who responded by firing tear gasoline into the gang.
Nobody was injured however 37 folks had been arrested, police stated. A number of autos had been set on fireplace, together with a media van for European broadcaster RTL.
A minimum of two native companies had been vandalized, together with a grocery store that was additionally looted. A bus station was additionally broken.
The working-class space has been rocked by several days of sometimes violent demonstrations after 4 cops purportedly assaulted the younger man February 2 at a housing property within the northern Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois.
The person, who’s black and recognized solely as Théo, had accidents extreme sufficient to require surgical procedure. The incident has reignited racial tensions between police and immigrant communities within the poorer neighborhoods surrounding Paris, which have often erupted in violence over the previous decade.
All 4 officers concerned within the incident have been charged with aggravated assault, whereas one was additionally charged with rape, in response to the Interior Ministry.
The officers have been suspended pending an inquiry into accusations that they used extreme drive.
‘It was as if my physique had given up on me’
Théo informed French tv channel BFM that he was strolling together with his headphones on when he was approached by the police.
“After I realized how violent their tone was, I stated to myself, ‘they appear fairly critical.’ So I stood towards the wall, after which one of many policemen beat me,” stated Théo, including that the officer then violated him with a baton.
“As quickly as he did that, I fell on my stomach. I felt weak. It was as if my physique had given up on me. Then they handcuffed me.”
‘Justice for Théo’
Folks on social media have been sharing pictures of the younger man together with the hashtag #JusticePourTheo.
On February 7, French President Francois Hollande visited Théo on the suburban hospital the place he has been handled. In a photograph shared by Hollande on Twitter, the President is seen standing at Théo’s bedside. Within the tweet that accompanied the picture, Hollande stated Théo “reacted with dignity.”
Théo informed BFM he has religion within the French justice system and requested that protests stay peaceable.
“I name to calm my metropolis as a result of I like it very a lot,” he stated from his hospital mattress. “Violence is just not the way in which to help me. Justice will do its job.”
A fun-loving soccer fanatic
Mates have described Théo as a fun-loving particular person and a soccer fanatic who performs on the Institute of Personal Soccer in Aulnay-sous-Bois.
“He’s a sociable one that likes to chortle with everybody,” stated a person who gave his identify solely as Hicham, who has performed soccer with Théo.
That athleticism runs within the household. Théo’s sister, Aurélie, is an expert handball participant on Le Havre AC, a French ladies’s membership.
In an interview with BFM, Aurélie stated Théo’s docs aren’t sure concerning the long-term influence of his accidents.