20,000 People Take to French Streets To Protest Against Police Violence
In Paris, a rally of thousands of protests against police violence took place in connection with new medical reports on the causes of the death of black man Adama Traoré in 2016. Despite the ban on mass events due to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic, more than 20 thousand people took part in the demonstration, AFP reports.
Many protesters linked the rally with protests in the United States over the death of African-American George Floyd. Many of those present were holding tablets with the inscription “Black lives matter”, as well as the phrase “I can’t breathe,” which Floyd repeated before his death.
The Paris demonstration escalated into clashes with the police. Protesters threw bottles and stones at law enforcement, set fire to garbage cans and bicycles, AFP reports. Police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets. Mass protests were also held in other French cities – 2500 people gathered in Lille, 1800 – in Marseille, 1200 participants – in Lyon.
The organizer of the action was Assa Traoré, the sister of a young man who died shortly after being detained by the police in 2016 at the age of 24. A week earlier, two different conclusions of forensic experts on the causes of the death of Traoré were made public. A study commissioned by the relatives of the deceased showed that death came from the consequences of strangulation as a result of police actions. Another autopsy report called the cause of death « cardiac edema » associated with Traore’s poor health.
African American George Floyd died on May 25 after a white policeman was strangling him with his knee for almost ten minutes during his arrest. The 46-year-old man kept asking for help until he lost consciousness. The police officer is arrested and charged with negligence. This tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis caused a wave of protests throughout the United States and in several other countries of the world.