France: Riots hit Paris over police attack on Black man

Justice for Theo protest. February 6.

Days of angry protests have hit Paris and other French cities after police raped and bashed a 22-year-old Black man on February 2.

Windows were smashed and fires were started in Paris's Menilmontant district on the night of February 8, TeleSUR English said the next day. Activists took to the streets to call for justice for “Theo” after French police were charged over his rape and abuse during a raid on a housing estate in the working-class department of Seine-Saint-Denis. One of the police officers has been charged with rape, while three others were charged with assault.

Protesters threw rocks at windows and started fire from scraps of rubbish amidst a heavy police presence in the northeast of the city.

While more limited than the riots that broke out in Paris 12 years ago, the unrest served as a reminder of the simmering tensions in neighbourhoods with higher-than-average unemployment and big immigrant populations.