Keyword: Police violence

Thousands in fresh Paris protest denouncing racism, police brutality

A procession of around 15,000 people, according to official estimates, marched through central Paris on Saturday, along with several thousand in other cities and towns across France, protesting racism and police violence in the country and highliting the case of a black man who died in strikingly similar circumstances to Afro-American George Floyd in Minneapolis last month.

French filmmaker in emotional defence of French police

Olivier Marchal, who served more than ten years as a policeman before becoming a film and television director, railed at those in his own industry who offered opinions about the fierce current national debate over police violence and racism.

French police to be tried for forging evidence against UK aid worker

Tom Ciotkowski, a council worker from Stratford-upon-Avon in the UK, was violently arrested while filming riot police preventing humanitarian volunteers from distributing food to refugees in the northern French town of Calais in July 2018.

Roma boy 'kicked in face' adds to claims of French police brutality

French interior minister Christophe Castaner said the case of Gabriel Djordjevic, 14, who sustained a fracture to his eye socket and four broken teeth after he claimed he was kicked by a police officer, was 'troubling'.

 

Marchers in France join with worldwide protests at police violence

As protest demonstrations were again held around the world on Saturday in a gathering momentum following the death in the US of George Floyd, a black man suffoctaed by a Minneapolis police officer, thousands of people joined marches across French cities to highlight cases of police violence, including in Paris where two banned rallies blocked the centre of the capital.

Racism is suffocating us

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This week has been marked by numerous demonstrations, both in the US and across the globe, in protest at police violence following the killing of George Floyd, the 46-year-old Afro-American who was suffocated to death by an officer in Minneapolis. In this op-ed article, Mediapart publishing editor Edwy Plenel argues why, when the police is gangrened by racism, it is because the powers in place, a ruling class and its elites, hold a silent hate of democracy, the people and equality – and that this applies as much to France as it does to the United States.

The 'front line' worker facing deportation from France after violent arrest

By Olivier Bertrand
Mehdi Medjaheb, five days after his arrest. Mehdi Medjaheb, five days after his arrest.

Mehdi Medjahed has lived in France for 13 years, is a qualified fire safety security guard and is one of those “front line” heroes praised by French president Emmanuel Macron for working during the coronavirus epidemic. Yet when the 36-year-old was stopped by police and questioned over his immigration status, the situation not only developed into a violent confrontation, he was arrested, placed in custody and then a detention centre, and now finds himself the subject of a deportation order. Olivier Bertrand reports.

Tackling social tensions in Toulouse as virus lockdown takes its toll on deprived areas

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In common with other parts of the country, the potentially volatile La Reynerie district of the south-west city of Toulouse has seen flare-ups of violence since the start of the coronavirus lockdown in France on March 17th. On the ground, a combination of collectives, residents and associations have been trying to foster a sense of solidarity and set up support networks without waiting for a response from the city authorities who are only belatedly now trying to introduce measures to reduce local tensions. Emmanuel Riondé reports from Toulouse.

Parisians protest against 'racist' attacks by police during lockdown

Tear gas and batons were used by police officers in the northern Paris suburb of Villeneuve-la-Garenne after a number of police vehicles and bins were set on fire.

French police violence back under spotlight amid Paris-Warsaw row

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A police officer takes aim with a rubber bullet weapon during a 'yellow vest' protest in Paris, December 8th 2018. © Karl Laske A police officer takes aim with a rubber bullet weapon during a 'yellow vest' protest in Paris, December 8th 2018. © Karl Laske

Visiting Poland this week, French President Emmanuel Macron slammed the country’s government over its moves to take control of the judiciary, denouncing a “negation of European political principles”. In a tit-for-tat move, Polish members of the European Parliament launched a petition denouncing French police violence in recent demonstrations as “unjustified brutality against protestors exercising their civil rights”. The row has escalated through the week, and returned the spotlight to crowd policing methods in France, already the subject of outspoken concern from international bodies, and which over the past year have left hundreds injured, many seriously. Ellen Salvi reports.

How French police formed a 'war' unit to tackle 'yellow vest' protestors

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Maria, aged, 19, five days after she was attacked by police officers in Marseille on December 8th 2018. © DR Maria, aged, 19, five days after she was attacked by police officers in Marseille on December 8th 2018. © DR

Earlier this year Mediapart reported how a 19-year-old woman had her skull fractured by police in Marseille, southern France, as she lay on the ground during a day of demonstrations. The same investigation has now revealed the existence of a new hybrid police unit that was created to take on the so-called 'gilets jaunes' or 'yellow vest' protestors in France. These officers were not trained in public order policing yet the initiative was backed by a memo from the Ministry of the Interior and superior officers who considered that in a time of “war” anything and everything is permissible. Pascale Pascariello reports.

French police officer faces judge over 'yellow vest' violence

Court hearing comes days after first anniversary of anti-government rallies, which were marked by clashes with police in Paris last Saturday.

Violent clashes in Nantes protests over drowning of Steve Caniço

There were violent clashes between demonstrators and police in Nantes, north-west France, on Saturday during a protest at the drowning of 24-year-old Steve Maia Caniço after a violent police charge against a techno party in the town in June, while other protests over his death were also held in Paris, Montpelier, Perpignan and Toulouse by supporters of the 'yellow vest' movement.  

'Anger has turned to hate': French government and police mired in scandal of music reveller's death

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A mural depicting Steve Maia Caniço and the incidents of the night of June 21st, painted on the riverside quai in Nantes where he disppeared. © Elisa Perrigueur A mural depicting Steve Maia Caniço and the incidents of the night of June 21st, painted on the riverside quai in Nantes where he disppeared. © Elisa Perrigueur

The body of Steve Maia Caniço, 24, was finally found earlier this week in the River Loire in the town of Nantes, north-west France, close to where he apparently fell from a quayside amid a violent police charge on an overnight rave party on June 21st. The party was one of thousands held during the national Fête de la Musique street events, but turned sour after a confrontation with police who used stun and teargas grenades, Tasers and LBD rubber pellet guns to disperse the crowd. His confirmed death has further fuelled growing controversy over violent police tactics, which the government has defended, while an internal police report that found no link between Caniço’s fatal fall and the police assault has caused outrage among those present that night. “The authorities have transformed anger into hate,” said one of his friends, ahead of a demonstration planned for this weekend. Elisa Perrigueur reports from Nantes.

The inevitable tragedies as French government turns a blind eye to police violence

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French President Emmanuel Macron with his interior minister Christophe Castaner. © Thibault Camus/Reuters French President Emmanuel Macron with his interior minister Christophe Castaner. © Thibault Camus/Reuters

Over the course of recent months, the French government has continued to deny the mounting evidence of unwarranted violent behaviour by police, notably during the rolling ‘yellow vest’ protests when an 80-year-old woman died after being hit by a teargas grenade fired at her window and hundreds of people, both demonstrators and bystanders, have been injured, many seriously. Last month, a 24-year-old man went missing after he fell into the Loire river in Nantes, in north-west France, during a police charge on a group partying to music on a quayside. In this opinion article, Mediapart’s Michaël Hajdenberg argues why, by refusing to condemn the abuses and even lending legitimacy to them, the executive has created a dangerous situation in which further tragic events appear inevitable.