France: Riots explode after new police killing

Friday, March 31, 2017

Riots swelled in Paris for a third night on March 29, with hundreds of people protesting against police brutality and the recent killing of a Chinese man, Shaoyo Liu, on March 23 by police.

Riot police hurled tear gas at the crowd as demonstrations continued, with a police car firebombed, three officers injured and 35 people arrested.

Authorities allege Liu was killed by police who were called to his home due to a domestic dispute. The police officers claim that when they opened the door Liu rushed at them with a pair of scissors, stabbing one before being shot dead by the other.

But his family disputes the account, saying there was no dispute, and that police broke down the door and shot him without warning. They also said he was holding the pair of scissors because he had been gutting fish for dinner.

“There was no dispute at all,” said Calvin Job, the family’s lawyer. “The police forced open the door, which threw [him] backwards. He did not rush at the officers. They shot him without warning. It’s very worrying.”

His death comes a month after France’s President Francois Hollande amended the law to make it easier for police officers to use guns. Previously, police could use guns only in circumstances where their life was at risk. Now they have the power to shoot to prevent a suspect from escaping arrest, or when someone “presents a threat”.

The riots also come after a month of similar protests against police brutality in the city, where people demonstrated over the abuse and rape of a young Black man by police in a Paris suburb.

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]

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