“Police, killers” were among the slogans shouted as French President Francois Hollande visited a gritty
suburb of Paris on Tuesday as tensions continue to rise over alleged police brutality.
It followed another night of urban violence by youths in neighbourhoods around the capital, with at least 25 arrests reported.
Seeking to calm the situation, Hollande said on his trip to Aubervilliers
“There is no life as a community if there is no respect. These young people deserve respect when they are stopped for police identity checks, when they themselves are confronted with violent situations. Respect.”
But he also stressed that respect works both ways, denouncing the destruction caused by youths going on the rampage.
“We must all be respectful of institutions – the police, the justice system…
“We also need to show respect for public and private property. And if there are demonstrations – and the right to demonstrate freely exists in France – it is not permission to wreak havoc.”
Trouble flared after four police were accused of using excessive force on a 22-year-old black man, identified only as Theo, in the Paris suburb of Aulnay-sous-Bois. One is charged with raping him with a baton.
Now the police disciplinary body is investigating claims by a friend of Theo that days earlier he was beaten up by one of the same officers.