Video shows French police 'stealing' a Roma family's mattress


A video obtained by Mediapart shows three police officers removing a mattress from members of a Roma family who are living rough on a Paris street. The incident passed off without incident or even raised voices, either from the family or the officers. Indeed, the episode happened so quickly and so calmly that many passers-by walked on with barely a second glance. But as Carine Fouteau reports, with no clear legitimate reason to take the mattress, the officers are perilously close to being guilty of theft. The incident, which took place at a time when the police in a nearby district were being instructed to “evict” Roma people “systematically”, highlights what some call the regular “harassment” endured by such families.

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Making off with goods that belong to someone else is usually regarded as theft. Except, it seems, when those goods belong to someone living on the streets. Mediapart has obtained a video (see below) showing three police officers taking away, with no apparent justification, a mattress belonging to a Roma family living rough on a Paris street.