Violent protests against (how ironic) police violence took place during a rally in Bobigny, a suburb of Paris, France, following a policeman’s assault on a twenty two year old man.
Rioters set on fire an RTL van while dozens of youths occupied an empty piece of property in Bobigny, which is located in the Prefecture of Seine Saint Denis department.
A number of rioters, because violence turns protests into riots, were carrying banners with the inscription “Justice for Theo”. Theo is the name of a youngster who was sexually abused by a policeman with a baton.
A mob composed of hundreds of people gathered close to the courthouse in Bobigny for protesting police brutality, according to Le Parisien. The initial protest was peaceful, but around 3 PM local time it turned violent for no apparent reason. One of the organizers described how the gathering was planned on social media, the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat.
Violent rioters attacked the police officers throwing projectiles while others set fire to vehicles and trash cans. According to a prefecture statement for Reuters:
“Several vehicles, including a media truck, were set on fire and police officers had to intervene to rescue a young child trapped in a burning vehicle,”
— Louis RT France (@Louis_RTfr) February 11, 2017
Rioters smashed store windows and threw groceries out, vandalizing private businesses for no reason whatsoever. The 22 year old youth identified only as Theo was sexually assaulted with a baton on February 2nd during what the police described an ID check.
According to CCTV camera footage, a police officer applied a baton blow horizontally across Theo’s buttocks yet judging from the video and the eyewitness accounts, there were no elements to suggest an actual rape, as per the charges against the police officers, to quote from a source via AFP.
The case is currently under investigation with one police officer accused of rape and 3 others with aggravated assault.