Anti-Police Protests have Spread to the Streets of Central Paris

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On again, Paris is burning. Beginning in early February, demonstrators have been angrily protesting the police and how they treat those they are supposed to protect and serve. But, while those violent anti-police protests had been contained in the suburbs, they’ve now spilled into the French capital.

Demonstrators gathered in the neighborhood of Barbes, near Paris’ Gare du Nord train station, angry about the alleged rape of a 22-year-old black man by police. It’s alleged that four police officers threw Théo to the ground, beat and raped him, leaving him with injuries so severe he required surgery.

While an investigation is ongoing, the police have claimed the anal rape by an officer, with a truncheon, was a mistake. An initial investigation found “insufficient evidence” to support the man’s claim that he had been deliberately sodomized. However, now, all four officers involved have been “charged with aggravated assault, while one was also charged with rape, according to the Interior Ministry.”

From the article:
“They demanded justice for the victim, identified only as Théo, chanting ‘We do not forget we do not forgive.’
Amid a sea of signs and banners at the Paris protest on Wednesday night, one stood out: “F*** the police by accident.” The message, scrawled in black ink on cardboard, hit back at the way authorities have described the incident.”
Thus far, Paris police have fired tear gas to disperse the crowds (though protesters lobbed some back at the police) and one person has been arrested. Also, trash cans and garbage were set on fire and the local metro station was closed during the unrest.

Riot police stand guard in Paris' Barbes neighborhood.

More from the article:
“Speaking at the National Assembly on Tuesday, French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux labeled the alleged sexual assault a “tragic accident.” He later walked back the comments in a statement on Twitter.”
His new statement read, “Le terme “accident” etait inapproprié. Je reaffirme ma confiance dans la Justice pour établir les responsabilités et qualifier les faits.” (Basically, “The term “accident” was inappropriate. I reaffirm my confidence in the justice system to establish who was responsible and qualify the facts.”)
Source: CNN
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Erin Elizabeth

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